Authors: Tigris Eden
Tags: #Paranormal Romance, #Erotic Romance, #Romance, #Multicultural
Arctic Wolves Book 1
Praise for The Shadow Unit Series
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“The Shadow Unit Series is an edge of your seat thrill ride full of steamy romance, conspiracy and best of all, hot shifters. A great series for any lover of the genre.” -
Author S. Cu'Anam Policar.
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“This was one of the best 2nd in a series books I think I have ever read. I have been waiting to see what happened with Jes and Draven, the hotness that is Royce and Ronin. Great Follow up. Great writing, can't wait till the others come out!” -
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“Just when you think happily ever after there is another twist in the story that keeps you turning the page.” -
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“The Shadow Unit Series is intense, gritty and HOT HOT HOT!!!” -
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“Intrigue, love and action make an irresistible read.” -
“Once you start reading them you can't put them down until you're finished. Then you are anxiously waiting for the next.” â
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“Shadow Unit Series is an emotional, raw, sexy, action packed paranormal fabulousness that sucks you in from page one. You will cry, laugh, and blush throughout the series and burn for more.” â
Indy Book Fairy
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“Hunky men, steamy scenes, romance and a touch of the paranormal. What more can you ask for? It's all here in the Shadow Unit.”
â Jennifer Ballam.
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“The Shadow Unit series is an edge of your seat mix of adventure and romance that will leave the readers wanting more!”
â Ty Langston, Author of Decadent Dreams
Also Available from Tigris Eden
Shadow Unit Series
Enslaved In Shadows
Burned In Shadows
Bonded In Shadows
Redeemed In Shadows
New Earth Series
The Genesis Project
Stories from Beauville
A Slow Burn
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All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the work of the author's imagination, or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.
Copyright Â© 2015 Tigris Eden
Cover: Robin Ludwig Designs
Edited by: Danielle Romero
Published by Kats Kreative Ideas
All rights reserved.
There are a lot of people I wish to acknowledge, my Street Team, my beta readers, but most important I'd like to acknowledge the words in my head. The characters that wake me in the night and push me to offer more of myself. It's the words and the characters that constantly drive me outside my comfort zone and push me further. I'd also like to acknowledge my readers, without you to read the words, well, these stories would only be a part of my stash of journals that have kept over the years, stashed in my closet. So, THANK YOU! You all rock! Without you, who could my characters make laugh, love, and of course rage. I hope you enjoy Nerina and Victors story as much as I enjoyed writing it. These two characters were outside the box of norm for me in a way that made me fall in love with them that much easier.
To the love of my life, I'm reminded constantly why I love you. Especially now as I sit here and type this and you're laughing at something only you could find funny, but were wonderful enough to share! Here's to many more
listening's of Lunch Lady by Adam Sandler.
I love you LL.
Heat surrounded Nerina on all sides. Everywhere she turned there was smoke. It clouded her vision, suffocated her senses, and burned her lungs. The clothes on her body had long burned away. Chunks of her flesh hung off her arms and legs. What was left of muscle and bone, pulsed in agonizing pain. In the other room she could hear her mother and father screaming as the fire blazed around her. Still, Nerina tried looking for a way out, for fresh air. She was determined to reach them. Fire crawled up the sides of the walls like waves rushing to the shoreline. She needed to find the door. Had to.
By the time she found it the screams had ceased. She was too late, knew they were gone, but called out to them anyway.
“Mom! Hold on! Dad! I'm coming! I'm coming!”
Reaching up, she grabbed for the knob. The skin from her hand sticking to the metal. Muscle and nerve she thought had long burned off, flared in excruciating pain. With a high-pitched scream, she peeled her hand from the hot metal.
Nerina woke tangled in her sheets. Her bed damp from her body's perspiration. The nightmare never got better. It had been two years and still she could smell the smoke, feel the heat of the fire on her skin. She'd lost her entire family that night. Her beautiful mother, Simone and her father, Roman.
Her father loved her and her mother. Her mother Simone, was an escort and Nerina was the result of their forbidden relationship. They'd been targeted by Roman's wife and his brother Oscar. It was the consequence of Roman choosing to care for them, instead of leaving them destitute. She'd known it would come down to her father making a choice. She'd even understood that at some point he'd have to leave. It was one of the reasons she'd taken on additional work with the Mistress. Nerina just hadn't thought her uncle and her father's wife would take measures to completely eradicate what they deemed a problem.
You should have seen it coming.
This was the main reason she moved to Alaska. There was a price on her head. It also helped that her uncle loathed the cold climate and would never think to look for her in a place like Talkeetna, Alaska. Population two hundred and one, three if you included her dogs.
Nerina slowly rose from bed. Demon and Daar lifted their heads to check on her as she limped towards her dresser. Darn leg still hadn't gained its full mobility. Doctors said it might never.
“I'm alright guys, heading to the outhouse.”
Both dogs stretched out, bellies flat on their beds as they watched her put on her boots and clothes. She'd only been in Alaska six months. She still wasn't used to walking outside in the freezing cold to use the bathroom. This was the only place no one would think to look for her. Talkeetna, Alaska was a small community, but as unwelcoming as anyone could get. She only went to town for supplies, and in the six month she'd lived up on her hill, no one had ever come up to say hi or welcome her to town. Not one person from the community, except for Thorn, the town patriarch, and his grandson, Teak. Besides the Malamute and Alaskan husky, she was alone. Her cozy one bedroom, no indoor bathroom cabin, overlooked the Alaskan range and faced Mt. McKinley. It was a great view complete with a running creek and a wood-burning stove.
Talk about roughing it.
The landscape alone was enough to sell her on the place, and with it came Demon and Daar. The previous owner Mrs. Raines had decided she'd had enough of long nights and cold winters. She packed her bags and moved to Florida.
Both dogs turned out to be loyal to the bone. Daar was a massive grey, white, and black husky with ice-blue eyes. Demon was huge with black fur and silver eyes and weighed over one hundred and forty pounds. He was the strangest dog she'd ever seen. In the dark, his eyes flashed amber. Nerina attributed his strange eyes to a trick of the moon's light. There was no way he was something other than a dog, although, if she was truly being honest with herself, she could swear he was a wolf hybrid.
Walking out to the outhouse in the middle of the night was scary the first couple of months she'd lived in Alaska. She'd moved to Talkeetna during the winter months when the nights were longer and the sun was scarce. The wind nipped at her face as she made her way to the shed. She didn't need her flashlight. The lights from the Aurora Borealis danced high in the sky. Beautiful green and red outlined the black backdrop, lighting up the night. Nerina smiled as she opened the shed door. She was happy, truly happy with her slice of life.
The towns people didn't bother her up on her hill, and she was secluded enough that no one could hear her when she worked out. It was always a bit cold, even in the summer months. To a New Yorker, sixty degrees was considered hot. It gave her a reason to keep her scars covered. No one knew about her past, and no one inquired about her future.
Finished with her business, she made her way back into the cabin where both dogs waited for their breakfast and daily walk. It was still dark and would be for most of the day. The sun only coming out for a few hours at a time. Breakfast consisted of eggs, bacon, and grits. Caribou meat and a can of tuna is what she served the dogs. The smell of breakfast always reminded her of her mom's kitchen. A bittersweet memory that gave her comfort.
Snapping out of her haze, Nerina quickly finished her breakfast. She dressed in layers to take the dogs out and gather more wood. Thorn would be expecting her in town for her monthly round up of supplies. He preferred she come in early to avoid the towns people. It wasn't a matter of safety, it was just easier that way. If she avoided the good folks of Talkeetna, they avoided her, and in turn, Thorn wasn't as grumpy. She threw on her skullcap, stepped into her snow pants and Keen Targhee waterproof hiking boots before zipping up her hooded parka. She looked like she was going on an arctic expedition. She might as well have been, it was freezing cold outside. Slipping into her gloves, she whistled for the dogs and headed out into the freezing night. Even though it technically was seven in the morning, the sun wouldn't be up for a while.
Nerina knew taking the dogs out would be a strain on her. She couldn't keep up with them because of her limp and wasn't comfortable attaching the dogs to her sled. But she knew the exercise was good for her. They walked down by the creek, and behind her cabin where colorful ice pillars could be seen off in the distance. By the time they made it back to house, Nerina was exhausted, and chilled from the cold air.
Readying the snowmobile for her trip into town, Nerina thought about her upcoming phone call. She only talked to Raven once a month. Each call a reminder there was a price on her head. The dogs looked on as they stood by her front door.
“Don't let me forget the wood, Demon, we're low.”
She spoke to both dogs more and more. A sign she was going crazy, maybe?
The people in town weren't mean to her, but they weren't particularly friendly either. Occasionally she'd talk to Thorn's daughter, Cassandra, who was the owner of the bed and breakfast she'd stayed at her first visit to town. Nerina was treated fine as a tourist but the moment she decided to stay, people became distant. A small part of her thought it was because she was bi-racial but Thorn had assured her race had nothing to do with the negative treatment. He'd used the words âbreed' and âkind'. If that wasn't racist, she didn't know what was.
Nerina was the owner of nine acres of beautiful Alaskan country, and Thorn promised he'd help her add plumbing as well as a workout room. Huge spruce trees bordered her land. Beyond that was a national preserve that was owned by the town. She'd already received a warning to stay off their property.
As if she wanted to explore their lands.
There were bears in the woods, and large wolves and other carnivorous animals. She wasn't stupid. The wind picked up as she headed into town. Harsh and cold, it bit into what little skin was exposed. Both dogs followed along effortlessly as they made their way down the hill.
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“You know how important this meeting is with Sasha and her parents.” Victor stood from his chair across from his sister Cassandra and grunted. She was so dramatic.
“Everything will be fine Cass.”
“The engagement is not official, you need to ensure everything is perfect. Uniting the packs is top priority.”