The Harder They Fall
by JoAnna Grace
Series: Blake Pride, #3
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Winged J Press
Cover Designer: Jelaine George
Publisher: Winged J Press
Cover Designer: Jelaine George
Release Date: July 21, 2015
With two newly mated couples in the alpha house, Conall needs a serious breather. He’s used to being the fifth wheel but now the distinction is amplified. When the opportunity for a couple days of freedom arises, he volunteers to take winter supplies to a mountain-dwelling widow and then spend some time hiking alone. Plans change when he meets a woman who evokes his lion’s protective streak and stirs his human desires. She meets none of his expectations for a mate, but that might be exactly what he needs.
Madelyn has been alone for nearly a decade. Ashamed of what she has become, she banished herself from the Blackburn Pack and resigned herself to a solitary life in the mountains. With no plans of change, it’s alarming when a young, alluring lion shifter arrives awakening her senses and challenging her situation. Her inner bear is still haunted by the last man who tried to claim her and she doesn’t want to make the same mistake again. Madelyn must discern if Conall is worth the risk or of he’s another heartbreak just waiting to happen.
While Conall is tucked away in the woods with Madelyn, the rest of his Pride faces an attack. In haste to go rescue his friends, he might throw the most vulnerable person of all to the wolves. But are they friend or foe?
It was all too easy to let his mind wander, to think about absolutely nothing except for where his paws would land with the next step. The walking path to the cabin was clear if you knew to look for the notches in the trees. He could travel like this all day and not get bored, never tire. Being in the wilderness liberated his lion; the burden he carried behind him only added a minor challenge to his muscular frame.
This was exactly what he needed.
The next four hours passed slowly and quietly, a vast change from the chaos of the last few weeks. For the first time in a long time, he turned off his brain and let his lion dominate his actions. His wide paws navigated the terrain with no problems. His ears alerted him to the movement of the forest creatures and his nose picked up the various scents of nature. Conall lost himself into his lion and his human counterpart took a well-needed mental nap.
Then he heard an angel.
The voice echoed around the woods and he froze with one paw off the ground. His feline ears perked up. After living with Vivian Blake, diva extraordinaire, for five years, he knew musical talent when he heard it. Vivian had the most beautiful voice he’d ever heard…until right then. Closing his eyes, he crouched down, still as death, to listen. The notes rose and fell flawlessly on pitch and with incredible ease. Her range was awe-inspiring. His breath caught in his throat as he listened to her build up to a note so high and delicate, it caused his heart to soar in anticipation. The emotion of the words, the love conveyed in every measure resonated in his chest. Tendrils of melody wrapped around him, gripping him tighter with every beat. Had he been in human form, he might have fallen to his knees. As it was, the four legs of his lion shook with the driving need to get closer to the source of such mesmerizing singing.
He took cautious steps over the crest of the hill to look upon the cottage set snugly among the evergreens. Green tin roof and logs made from local timber provided camouflage. Smoke rose from the chimney; the smell traveling the air currents was divine. Three chairs rocked on the porch, pushed by the invisible hands of the wind. Although the coming winter cold had scared them away, it was clear the cottage was usually framed with flowers. A brown picket fence protected a garden. He envisioned Snow White singing to the forest creatures as they scuttled around her feet.
Ha, he thought. Any moment now, some old woman would come outside with a radio in her hand.
He didn’t want the fantasy to end. The lion closed his eyes and let the gentle voice wash over him. Peace settled in his chest, a heavy weight dissolved from his shoulders. The notes infiltrated his veins and he felt absolutely drunk with contentment. Her love song pierced him and eased each breath he took.
The notes cut off as soon as the wind shifted.
“Who’s there?” chimed an angelic voice. His singer.
Felling like the odd man out is not going so well with Conall. Now that Ami and Vivian are mated he is the only member of his Pride to have joined the Blackburn pack not to have found his mate. That leaves the man and his Lion restless and in need of a distraction. When someone mentions taking supplies to the widow up in the mountains and trying to convince her to come to the Alpha house Connal is on that like white on rice. Little does he know that Sampson hasn’t exactly told him everything there is to know about the widow in the mountains. The first thing Conall notices is the voice of an angel that pulls his heart strings in a way even Vivian can’t; when he sees the woman attached to the voice both him and his Lion are awed. Trying to get the timid beauty to trust Conall will require all his skill. Madelyn knows there is a stranger on her property and she does not like that at all the fact that his scent alone makes her feel things she hasn’t in ages terrifies her on so many levels. Both her and her Bear have been mistreated by men in the past and neither are looking for a repeat performance. Yet the way Conall approaches her makes her want to trust him. Can Conall convince Madelyn that he means neither her nor her Bear harm? Can the feelings that are stirring mean that Conall has found his mate? Will his past keep him from mating her fully for fear of hurting her? Will the threat that led him to her tear them apart before they have a chance to explore what could be between them? Another great addition to the series can’t wait to see what happens next!
Book 1: Pride Before the Fall
Vivian Blake is a force to be reckoned with as she should be being that she is the female Alpha of her band of misfits. Her and those closest to her Amilynn, Conall, Ty and Melissa have been on the run from their Alpha Trevor ever since they escaped his ruthless clutches. Needing to ask another for permission to stay in their territory is nothing new to them yet when Vivian meets Kasey Blackburn she knows he is in a league of his own. Used to the cheap intimidations and lewd comments of previous Alphas she takes Kasey’s comments the wrong way. The fact that he also thinks she is his mate baffles her. Who would want someone with her past? Why would you want someone who would bring nothing but trouble to your family and friends? Not to mention she is a cat shifter and he is a wolf. What could he possibly be thinking? Vivian fights Kasey for all she is worth but he is not backing down. When even her Pride mates are pushing her in Kasey’s direction what will she do? Will she give in and accept his claim and protection? Or will her dominance keep her from what could be the best thing to happen to her and her Pride?
Book 2: Break Her Fall
Now that Kasey and Vivian have mated everyone is on the lookout for the next one in the Pride to find their mate. Little do they know that Amilynn has already been claimed by a certain Alpha’s nephew and is fighting it tooth and nail. The only interaction with men that Ami has had with men aside from those in her Pride and now the Pack have been less than favorable to say the least. Most look at her and they see is a sexy body and an easy lay. She wants someone to love her for her not for her looks. When Ezekiel looks at her all she sees is his lust. He has his work cut out for him trying to prove his true feelings. Of course even with their crazy attraction they have bigger problems. Namely their former Pride Alpha Trace and his cronies one of which include Brian Ami’s bastard of an ex. No one is safe from their method of vengeance. They will do anything in their power to take Vivian, Conall, Ami, Melissa, Ty and now the Blackburn pack down. While Vivian and Ami will do everything in their power to keep those who they love safe. Will it be enough? How many sacrifices will have to be made before peace fills the Blackburn Pride lands again? How many will die or suffer at the hands of the sadistic animals who are hunting them all down? Could Ami have finally have found her Mate in Ezekiel only to lose him before they can really get started?
From the time she started holding a crayon she began to create magical worlds. Her first book was a series of pictures about a puppy princess. The story changed each time she told it, but there was always a happy ending! Her first written story was about girls who changed into tigers.
Now those stories have become a bit more complex.
JoAnna’s tales are spun at her home in East Texas where she lives with her husband, three kids, and a couple dogs. When not hiding behind the computer screen you can find her camping, boating, and shopping.
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