Authors: Michelle Fox
Tags: #paranormal romance, #werewolf romance, #Werewolf, #vampire romance
Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.
his is a work of fiction intended for adults age 18 and over. Minors should stop here and close the book. All events depicted are fictional. Characters are consenting adults. Any resemblance to places and persons, living or dead, is unintentional coincidence.
Every effort has been made to provide a quality reading experience, but editors and technology are fallible. Please report typos or formatting issues to [email protected]
hen you've lost your wolf, how do you get it back?
'Jane Doe' has no idea who she is or why she wakes up in a...nursing home? Full of shifters? She may not be old, but they say she
a shifter—only her wolf is MIA and she's in some kind of trouble she can't remember to boot. And there's this guy, Ryder. Something about him that makes her tingle in all the right places. If only she knew whether or not she already had a mate, why she's been stashed in shifter 'retirementville' and where the hell her animal half went.
What if your wolf picked a mate you couldn't trust?
Former pro-fighter Ryder Chase plans to get away from his no-good pack alpha, Mason, and forge a new life for himself, but there's one little problem named Jane. Ryder's wolf wants her more than he wants to breathe.
Finding his mate would be good news except for the part where she knows Mason. Is Jane mixed up with his alpha's dark side and everything Ryder wants to leave behind?
Full length, stand alone novel from NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Michelle Fox. No cliffhangers! Lots of plot!
ith this latest Huntsville book, I wanted to do something you've never seen in a romance novel, let alone a paranormal one. Which is why a nursing home full of shifters is one of the major settings in the book. (Because, while shifters may get old, they never stop kicking ass.)
Now, most of the time, Huntsville shifters stay with their pack from cradle to grave, but occasionally there's a pesky 100-year-old werewolf who won't stop wandering into the human world and sprouting a tail because they've forgotten the rules. Of course, the alpha
assign round-the-clock caregivers, but as it turns out, 100-year-old werewolves are also wily escape artists. Shifter packs need a place to keep their elders safe and out of trouble, hence Crescent Pines, the nursing home in The Alpha's Fight.
And if the pack happens to end up with a stranger who needs a place to heal while the sheriff investigates the trouble they've found themselves in, what better place to stash them than a nursing home? (Full of characters about to cause major trouble. Naturally.)
Don't worry, there are also plenty of bars, a strip club, various cabins, vampires, shifters of all shapes and sizes and a whole lot of action with a big dose of steamy romance in The Alpha's Fight. I just wanted to mix things up a bit and give you a story that you most definitely have never read before. Enjoy!
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here are werewolves running all over the place,” she said, breathless with fear. Sitting up in her bed, she clutched at the nurse’s scrubs. The shadows on the white walls of her room leered at her, raising the hair on the back of her neck. “You have to get me out of here.”
She'd woken up in a hospital of some kind and full of desperation to run. She had to go.
But there were monsters everywhere and she couldn't remember where safe was.
“Shh, Jane. It’s okay.” said the nurse, her tone soothing as she patiently peeled Jane’s fingers off her blue scrubs.
“My name’s not Jane.” She crossed her arms over her chest, watching the nurse with a wary eye.
The nurse cocked her head, watching Jane intently. “Oh? What is it?”
Jane opened her mouth, but nothing came out. “I-I-I don’t know.” She slumped back in her bed, confused and frustrated. The name Jane jarred her with a palpable wrongness, but she couldn’t say what the right name was. It was there, she could feel it hiding inside her mind, but she couldn’t reach it. “I’m not crazy.” She pounded her fist into the mattress and then smacked her forehead with her palm, trying to shake something loose that made sense. “I’m not. I know I’m not.”
“No, you’re not crazy. You’re right, there are shifters. Wolves, lions, bears—we have them all here, but you don’t need to be afraid of them because,” the nurse leaned down, her gaze meeting Jane’s, “you’re a shifter, too.”
Jane screamed and struggled to get out of bed. She had to escape, had to get away from these people before they made her a monster. The nurse pushed her back into the mattress, surprisingly strong despite her slight frame.
“Let me go!” She aimed a fist at the nurse who ducked and raised her arm to block the blow.
Another nurse stepped into the room. “You need some help here, Mary? Or is the patient screaming with happy cooperation?”
Mary chuckled as she caught both of Jane’s hands in hers, holding them with an iron grip. “Yeah, thanks, Sally. I’ll hold her down if you’ll handle the shot.”
Jane glanced from one nurse to the other. “What shot? Why do I need a shot?”
Mary tightened her grip on Jane without responding. The other nurse, a tall woman with dark, curly hair approached, a syringe gleaming in her hand.
“I don’t want a shot.” She arched against Mary’s strength hoping to break free. “Do you hear me? I don’t want any treatment. I want to leave. Now.” The last word ended in a shrieking howl as the needle plunged into her arm. “Why are you doing this to me?”
“Healer’s orders,” said Sally, her voice crisp. She slapped a bandage over the injection site. “We’re all set here. You got the charting on this, Mary?”
Mary nodded. “I’m good. I’ll just wait a bit with her.”
“Wait for what?” Jane asked. “What else are you going to do to me?” A high-pitched note of fear crept into her voice.
“Nothing, honey. I just want to make sure you get to sleep okay.” Mary smiled at her, looking oddly motherly considering she’d just held Jane down and forced medication on her. “Once you’re feeling better, you’ll be able to get up, maybe even visit our cafeteria.”
“Oh, don’t tell her that,” Sally said with a snort. “She’ll never get better with you holding the horrors of that slop over her head.”
Mary laughed. “Fine. If it helps, once she’s better I’ll order some pizza and wings to celebrate. How’s that?”
Sally gave a nod of approval and headed for the door. “Much better. Hell, some shifters I know would run a marathon for that.”
“What’s wrong with me? Where am I? Who am I?” Jane fought the sudden fog clouding her mind. The world blurred at the edges and her eyes felt like they might start spinning in her head like whirling tops. Heavy fatigue pressed down on her, shoving her into a dark space where none of her questions were answered.
he woke some time later. It had been night before, but now sunlight streamed through the blinds hanging in the window above her bed. She blinked and tracked the dust motes dancing on the sunbeams.
She took a deep breath.
My name is Jane.
Biting her lip, she shook her head. Jane still didn’t feel right.
Then what is my name? Why don’t I know that?
“Jane,” she said, forcing her voice to be firm.
It’s not me. No matter how many times I say it, it doesn’t fit me.
She huffed in frustration and rubbed the sleep out of her eyes. Sitting up, she took in her surroundings. A single bed with a coarse gray blanket, a small nightstand and a vinyl chair were the only furniture. The walls were bare and she saw no personal belongings. There was nothing to connect her to who she was. Looking down, she picked at her scrubs. Even her clothes couldn’t help her.
Why don’t I know who I am?
And why do I need medical care?
Where are my clothes? My stuff? Surely I have stuff, right?
How is it that there are shifters everywhere?
She shuddered at that last thought, recalling the nurses telling her it was true.
I’m not crazy, but something is definitely wrong. I just don’t know what.
The sound of people talking reached her ears. Curious, she got out of bed only to fall back into the mattress as the world spun and her knees gave out. A wave of weakness left her limp, but she pushed past it, gritting her teeth.
Forcing herself upright and to her feet, she kept her balance with one hand on the wall as she tiptoed to the door of her room. Relieved to find it unlocked, she peeked out and saw a sea of old people. They shuffled, wobbled or leaned on walkers, all headed in a group down one hallway.
A nurse, young with dark hair pulled back in a bun, stood in the hallway and waved them on. “Get moving, folks or all the cinnamon rolls will be gone.”
Catching sight of a clock on the wall, Jane realized it must be breakfast time. Her stomach growling, she started to step out into the hallway, but then pulled back. Shutting the door, she went into the bathroom attached to her room instead.
Am I old, too?
What if she was one of those people with dementia who fought everyone? She flicked on the light and looked at herself for the first time she could remember. The mirror showed her a woman who looked to be in her late twenties.
Early thirties at the most.
Her hair reached her shoulders in soft waves, the color of sable with chocolate undertones. Her eyes were...
She leaned in for a closer look, finding her pupils a mix of green and gold. She had freckles, too, which dusted her nose and cheeks.
Stepping back, she took in her figure. Not thin, not fat, but solid. She flexed an arm and marveled at her bicep.
Do I lift weights?
There was a knock on the door, and whoever it was didn’t wait for her to let them in. She watched as a short man with a thick head of hair going every-which-way entered her room, passing right by the bathroom. He frowned when he saw her bed was empty, but then noticed her when he turned to look behind him.
“Ah, there you are! Good morning, Jane. I’m Healer Schmidt from Claw Moon Pride. I thought you might want to talk.” He motioned for her to join him in the main part of her room.
"Healer? Shouldn't you be a doctor?" Jane perched on the edge of her bed, her senses causing panic to flash through her. She could smell the animal in him, a tangy musk. He was one of
"Actually, I am a real doctor. I went to school and everything, but I only did that to make me legit to humans. It's easier to get meds with a medical license." Crossing his legs, he smiled at her. “No doubt, you must be confused. The nurses told me you were very upset last night, which isn’t unusual, I’m sorry to say, for someone in your situation.”
“What situation is that?” She gave him a wary look.
He tapped his temple. “Head trauma. You’ve sustained a brain injury.”
She blinked, surprised at the answer. “Is that why I can’t remember anything?”
“I’m afraid so.”
She put a hand to her head. “Will my memory come back? Any of it?”
He nodded. “With time, yes. Most of your memory should return, but you may be missing pieces of it for the rest of your life.”
“Do you know who I am?”
"I'm afraid not. The sheriff who brought you here doesn’t know who you are either.”
She stiffened. “Sheriff? Am I in trouble?”
“I don’t know. I expect the sheriff will stop by to talk to you about that later.”
“And you’re a shifter too?”
“Yes, a lion.” His eyes flashed gold as he spoke.
“And I’m a shifter?” She sniffed, thinking she might catch her own scent, but nothing registered.
“Yes, my guess is wolf.”
“I’m a werewolf,” she said with wonder and a touch of embarrassment over her behavior the night before. It didn't seem nearly as scary now. In fact, it sounded right to her, as if it fit. She closed her eyes and tried to feel the animal that supposedly lived somewhere inside her, but like her name, it was nowhere to be found.