Taelyn: Abandoned by her parents and raised in the uncaring foster system, Taelyn finds out she isn’t truly human when fear triggers her first shift. She finds a temporary home with a pack of gray wolves, but she knows she isn’t truly one of them, either. When she feels the pull of the mate-bond, her world changes forever.
Dylan: Dylan is more at home in the woods than the city. Working for the Forestry Services, he sets out to catalog the endangered grizzly bear population in the Interior of British Columbia. What he didn’t expect was to find his bond-mate running wild with a pack of gray wolves.
Taming Taelyn is a challenge Dylan is determined to win.
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Copyright ©2020 Anne Kane
Taelyn skidded to a halt, lifting her nose high in the air. A strange scent drifted on the breeze, teased her brain, calling to her in a way she’d never experienced before. Not danger. Not food. Human, but not. Something different.
The thought lingered, strange and unfathomable. What did it mean?
The rest of the pack raced on, heading to the caribou grazing grounds in the high range.
There it was again. An irresistible temptation.
The Alpha gave her a cursory glance as she veered off to investigate. The pack was used to her strange methods of doing things. Even the Alpha ignored her peculiar ways, letting her roam at will. As long as she didn’t endanger the pack, he was willing to indulge her for the sake of his mate who had all but adopted her.
She was a wolf, but not. The pack accepted that. They were so much more direct than humans. Their way of life was brutal but fair, and they would fight to the death to protect any one of their packmates no matter what their position was in the pack hierarchy.
Taelyn bounded through the thin undergrowth, sifted the information brought to her on the wind. It was spring and the scent of newly budding flowers and greenery floated on the breeze, nature emerging from its long sleep. But to her keen nose, there was something else as well.
And yet she felt no sense of danger, no urge to run and hide. Every wolf in the pack knew about humans. They were destroyers of the forest, dangerous two-legged creatures who killed from afar using death sticks that spit out fire and metal. They were cruel beings who set traps to capture and torture the creatures of the woods. They were to be feared and avoided. And her childhood in the foster system had given her no reason to dispute that.
And yet the scent said mine.
She slowed her pace, approaching the origin of the scent carefully. Lifting her nose high, Taelyn searched the wind for information. Yes, it was a human. Human male. A sharp tang of metal mixed with his scent. A sure sign of danger. She should leave before he detected her.
Dropping to her belly, she crawled closer. Thick brush at the edge of the clearing marred her view, only allowing glimpses of the human male. Big. Strong.
Something coiled deep inside her, an unsettling desire that she’d never felt before for any of the wolves who’d come sniffing around when she’d entered her first heat cycle. After that, she’d learned to avoid the pack at those times.
She crept closer, belly tight to the ground, ears swiveling in a constant search for any danger. Humans often came in packs as well, although Taelyn could detect no others in the vicinity.
The sharp tang of metal was stronger now, a foreign scent in the forest. Metal never heralded anything good for the wolves. Strong jaws that broke legs. Death sticks. Caves with no exit. Metal was a tool the humans used against the creatures of the forest.
And yet that scent was stronger now.
She felt a slow heat ignite deep inside her, the pull of something ancient and strong.
Uncertainty flickered through Taelyn. A mating bond? Surely not. This was a human male. She was a wolf, albeit one who could become human.
She liked to think there had been a time when life in the human world had been good, when she’d had parents, a family, a home. But she wasn’t sure if it was true or just wishful thinking on her part. Now, Taelyn existed with the pack, or in the little cabin she’d restored for herself deep in the forest. She raised herbs and vegetables that she could sell at the farmer’s market in the small town closest to her home for those things she couldn’t get from nature.
She didn’t want to be human. To be human was to be heartless. To be human was to be cruel and brutal. To be human was to hurt the Mother Earth and the creatures who lived in harmony with her. To be human was to hurt those of your pack who were weaker than you.
Long ago she had lived exclusively in that world and it had not been kind to an orphaned child with no family of her own to protect her. She’d learned to fight out of necessity, and to protect herself at all costs. When she’d discovered the duality of her nature, she’d embraced it fully. Taelyn had started to sneak out at night to run with the wolves. On those nights she found liberty she’d never had, a sheer joy in living. Although she still functioned in the human world, she had the freedom of her wolf to escape to whenever things got too tough. She’d sworn then that she’d never let any human control her destiny ever again.
And yet still the man’s scent called to her.
ABOUT ANNE KANE
Anne Kane lives in the beautiful Okanagan Valley with a bouncy little rescue dog whose breed defies description, a cantankerous Himalayan cat, and too many fish to count. She spent many years trying to fit in and act normal, but finally gave up the effort. She started writing romance in 2008, and her fate was sealed when she won a publishing contract with Red Sage Publishing and just a month later Changeling Press accepted her first submission. Since then she has published more than thirty stories in a variety of sub-genres, all with a happily ever after.
She has two handsome sons and six adorable grandchildren and enjoys spending time with them whenever she can. Her hobbies, when she’s not playing with the characters in her head, include kayaking, hiking, swimming, playing guitar, singing and of course, reading.