Wild Card

Down & Dirty, Novella One


Digital

November, 2008
ISBN: 9781466004016

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includes the stories:
Wild Card

As Alpha of the Lonely River Pack, Jack Owens is responsible for keeping the peace between what’s left of the human population and the wolves who have taken over since the War. All wolves are his responsibility–even the ones like Virginia Howard, who don’t recognize his authority.

Ginny’s been a thorn in Jack’s side since she took over her parents’ operation and established herself as one of the area’s premiere ranchers. The fact that she’s everything he wants in a mate makes it hard to stay away from her…but any good hunter knows how to bide his time.

Ginny fights hard to maintain her independence from men, human and werewolf alike. The humans may not like having a woman as their chief competition, but they’re not the ones determined to see her submit. When a group of angry wolves try to run her out of business, she’s forced to accept Jack’s assistance. But in saving her ranch, Ginny runs the risk of losing something far greater–her heart.

Originally published in November, 2008. Reissued by the author in June 2012 with a new cover.

Read an Excerpt


Ginny paused in the doorway of her bedroom. Moonlight shone through the curtains, splashing over the faded quilt on her bed, and she shuddered. Though she wasn’t celibate, not by a long shot, she’d never invited a man into her bedroom before.

So why now? Why Jack?

Her hand pulled free of his, and she crossed to the bed to remove her boots. “Make yourself comfortable.”

Jack pulled off his boots and set them next to her door in silence. When he straightened, he lifted his fingers to his belt. “Are you comfortable?”

His hands hovered over the buckle, and Ginny caught herself staring. She tore her gaze away and rose, dragging her shirt from her pants. “Why wouldn’t I be?”

“I’m the alpha, Ginny. You can’t fool me.” He dropped his hands and crossed the room, stopping in front of her. His hands covered hers and his knuckles brushed her stomach, a light touch that gave her a taste of the restrained energy inside of him.

Heat blazed through her, and she started unbuttoning her shirt under his hands. “I didn’t plan on this, that’s all.” Which was true enough.

He moved with such speed that she didn’t realize he’d spun her until her back hit his chest. One hand gathered her hair and held it away from her ear as the other splayed across her bare stomach. “Do you plan everything?”

His breath blew hot over her skin, but she didn’t hesitate before answering. “Yes. Always.”

“Too bad.” He teased at the shell of her ear with his tongue and bit the lobe with a soft growl. “No plans tonight.”

Making plans would involve thinking, and Jack had stripped her of that ability already. “No plans,” Ginny agreed breathlessly. She trembled and bared the side of her throat to him in silent invitation.

His breath skated over her, but he didn’t accept the invitation to mark her. Instead, the hand on her stomach eased up until he found the curve of her breast. Strong, callused fingers teased over sensitive skin, tracing tiny circles that moved closer and closer to her nipple without touching it.

Frustration drew a growl from her throat. “You’re a tease.” She needed to test herself against his strength, to revel in it. She bent a little, curving her back as she leaned forward and rubbed her ass against him. Ignore that, Jack Owens.

He moaned, a quiet noise that rumbled up from the depths of his chest and vibrated against. His cock was hard already, and he rocked into her movement, pressing himself tight to her ass. “You’re a bad, bad little wolf,” he whispered, then caught her aching nipple between his thumb and forefinger as his teeth closed on her neck.

Ginny couldn’t hold back her whimper. Everything about him confused her, and she struggled with her own conflicting desires. Part of her wanted to draw out every touch for hours, but the rest of her needed him inside her. “Fast now, Jack.” She barely recognized the desperate tone of her own voice. “And then slow.”

The hand in her hair loosened and slid down her body to work at her belt while the other continued to tease at her breast. “How long has it been, Ginny? How long, since you had a man strong enough to take you the way you want to be taken?” Nimble fingers worked the buckle of her belt free and he tugged at the top button on her pants. “The way you need to be taken?” He smiled and eased her pants over her hips.

She didn’t even know. “There aren’t a lot of men around here who could.” She dragged her shirt over her head and turned in his arms. Her eyes locked with his as she reached for his shirt and slipped each button free. “That’s why you want me, isn’t it? The challenge?”

“Is that what you think?” He moved his hands back to his belt. “So you’re not in possession of a mirror, then. That is a pity.”

“I have a mirror. But you–” You’re beautiful. She bit her lip and pushed his shirt to the floor before smoothing her hands up his chest to frame his face. Her height kept her from having to stretch too far as she kissed him. It was soft and it was slow, and she shook with the need to drive her tongue past his lips and taste him.

But the wolf held her back. She needed something different, something more, from him. So she whispered against his mouth, “Take me.”