DESERT FATE takes off running from page one. Stefanie is running for her life. Running from a danger that she doesn't fully understand as well as running from what is happening to her. As Stefanie is blindly running fate steps in in the form of Kyle Williams. Kyle and Stefanie share a past as well as a condition that will help draw them together in order to survive what is coming. Stefanie has to rely on her instincts that seem to take her against reason, attempt to trust Kyle who she hasn't seen in years but has an immense draw to, and avoid the "man" who is the source of her troubles. Kyle has to overcome his tendency to be a loner in order to fit into a pack and pack dynamics that he isn't comfortable with as well as stepping up to protect Stefanie before they can actually have a life together.
DESERT FATE is a quick read paranormal romance but packs quite a bit of action and loving into a short read. I read DESERT FATE as a stand alone but now I am intrigued enough to back to book one and start from the beginning.
**I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.**
Kyle Williams is just a lone wolf trying to settle in to a new
skin. But when the brown-eyed girl from his past turns up, bloodied
by a rival male, the instinct to protect overrides everything
else—including duty to his pack.
Stefanie Alt is a woman on the run, and fate is hot on her heels.
The only one who can help her is the neighborhood bad boy she once
knew. But even after one hot night under the desert moon, Stefanie
isn’t sure she can trust him—or herself.
There’s more than meets the eye on Twin Moon Ranch, home to a
pack of shapeshifting wolves willing to battle for life and love.
His head snapped up at a movement in the distance. Stef was coming out of the hills. She came bounding along like an Amazon, so tough and bristling, he could almost hear her armor clink. He pulled in a slow breath and let it out again, counting the seconds until she came thumping up the stairs as if she was planning to sweep right past him and fly into the house.
Well, he wasn’t letting her fly anywhere, not yet. Not like this.
He parked himself on the top step, right in her path.
Stomp, stomp, stop. She came to a thudding halt, one step below.
“Stef,” he started, not really sure what he’d say next.
Yeah, she was upset. He got the message. But it was a stubborn, forced kind of glare. The kind that said she was trying to convince herself as much as him.
“Look,” they both said at exactly the same time.
For a minute, she glared on, but then the anger seeped away and all he saw before she dropped her eyes was pain. Pain and emptiness. He would have bartered anything for the right word or gesture to make things right, but the desert wasn’t exactly throwing ideas at him, not the way it had been wildly suggesting last night.
“Stef,” he tried again, trying to make it softer this time. A plea, not an accusation. “What’s wrong?”
She tilted her head up slowly, and it was awkward, standing on the steps like that. But she seemed okay with awkward, so he didn’t move. Her jaw was clenching, and a vein on her neck pulsed.
“Everything’s wrong,” she mumbled. Her hands fluttered in the air as she searched for words.
“Last night wasn’t wrong.” He meant for it to come out soft, but it was more of a declaration. The second part, though, came out in a whisper. “Us, I mean. You didn’t want it?”
His ears strained for her answer.
“I wanted it too much,” she whispered.
He could barely hear her voice after her chin dropped and her shoulders rounded like a turtle halfway into its shell. God, he wished he could see something other than the top of her head. He put a finger under her chin and tipped it up so he could see the warm brown of her eyes, sparking gold and green. Scared and defiant at the same time. Shining with tears she refused to release.
“I barely know you,” she said.
“You know me,” he growled.
“We were kids then…”
“What’s so different now?”
She looked away and let a finger wander to the scar on her neck. “A lot of things.”
He shook his head and looked at her long and hard until she was forced to look back.
“So okay, we grew up.”
She snorted. “Sure did.”
“But what’s so different?” No one had ever understood him as well as her; no one ever would.
She opened her mouth with a retort then closed it again, along with her glistening eyes. Slowly, she leaned forward until her forehead was on his chest and let his arms slide around her shoulders to pull her close. And even though it hurt to see her so upset, something in him sang.
She wanted it too much. She wanted him.
“I’m just so…so mixed-up,” she sniffed into the fabric of his shirt.
He snorted. “If I’d been half as together as you the morning after my first change…”
You’re nearly that messed up now, the rational part of his mind snapped. Get yourself together!
Part of him wanted to sit her in his kitchen and feed her cookies and warm milk; the other part wanted to take her to his bedroom and have her again and again. It was just like last night, when his wolf had chanted for him to bite her—on their first night! The beast was no better than Ron, getting carried away on the intense scent of a Changeling. Damn wolf was getting greedy.
Damn wolf knows his mate when he scents her, came the rumbling reply.
He pulled her up to the top step and hugged her long and close, scrunching his eyes tight like that might keep reality away. If only it could be him and her and nothing else.
“Some things don’t change, Stef.”
“Yeah?” She sniffed, but there was a tiny thread of hope in it. “Like what?”
“Like what really counts.” Like you and me and someday, he wanted to add, but couldn’t.
About the Author
Anna Lowe is a teacher who loves dogs, sports, and travel - and letting those inspire her fiction. She spent a year working on an Arizona ranch, the inspiration for her Twin Moon Ranch paranormal series. The real-world ranch had decidedly fewer hunks, so she had to populate it with some hot shifters from her imagination.
On any given weekend, you might find Anna hiking in the mountains with her husband and young children or hunched over her laptop, working on her latest story. Either way, the day will end with a chunk of dark chocolate and a good read.