A daughter who has returned home to assume her position as Alpha of the Ash Tail Pack, and the man who loves her, struggle to overcome those who oppose her.
Four years ago, when Raven turned old enough to choose a mate and have young—a duty that she was expected to carry out immediately—her father chose to hide her away and give her a few precious years of freedom before she had to assume her position within the pack. Now her father has died, making her the new Alpha of the Ash Tail Pack, and it's time for her to return home.
When Duke, the pack beta, watched Raven walk away years ago, his heart had been breaking. He loved her, although he'd never told her, but he knew he had to let her go. Now she's back, and he's determined to win her over and help her lead the pack into the future.
But there are some in the pack who are not happy with Raven, and they have very different ideas of what the future should hold.
Will Raven and Duke's love get the chance to bloom? Will they be able to lead the pack together, or will their enemies overthrow them?
Content Warning: contains strong language, some violence, and lots of hot, steamy sex scenes
With a couple of strides, Duke was across the cabin. He lifted Raven with ease and sat her on his lap. He cupped her jaw, and his forefinger stroked across her cheek and then over her lips.
"Duke, I have dreamed about you ever since I left. I've had all kinds of dirty thoughts involving you. I have never loved anyone as much as I love you. I had the chance on the outside to love anyone I wished. But to think of anyone else in my heart or bed, taking what I think is rightfully yours… It just wouldn't do." She looked up into his deep green eyes and hoped he could see her honesty. "I would have stayed and mated you at seventeen," she confessed.
Duke smiled. "I know that. The day you left, it took so much energy and stamina for me to not turn back to you, to keep walking away." The look on his face turned to one of love, lust, and passion. "I love you, Raven. I want my lips to coat every inch of your skin. I want your first time to be slow and easy. I want my mark on your skin and to remember forever the day I placed it on you. I want your mark on me, so you can remember the brain-melting orgasm that caused you to rake your claws across my body."
A tiny shiver rippled down Raven's spine. The seduction in his voice was so sexy. The image of him giving her an orgasm as she marked him was powerful. For him to forever be hers. "And not seeing me in four years, that doesn't bother you?"
"Bother me how?" he asked.
"Well, we don't really know each other that well anymore."
Duke chuckled, shaking his head a little, and placed a whisper of a kiss on her lips. "You forget, we have written to each other every single day for those three years, eleven months, and three days. I know you love mint chocolate ice cream when you're sad, and butterscotch when you're happy. I know your favorite flowers are red roses. You love running in the rain. You—"
"Okay, okay. So, you know me," she conceded.
"And you know me."
"Well, I thought I did." She snorted, running a finger over his very fine, and tight, pecs. "These are a lot bigger. And these are too." She admired his muscles, running another finger over his biceps. And this…" She fingered his beard, tugging at the ends. "…is very new. It makes you look…older." She giggled.
"Too old for you then?" he said sternly. But the tiny lift at the ends of his lips deceived the tone of his serious voice.
"Never too old." Biting down on her bottom lip to hide her smile, she made a show of examining his hair carefully. "But then, I can see a few gray hairs, here and here." She pointed randomly at spots on his head.
A laugh blasted from her when his fingers tickled her sides. The next moment she found herself flat on her back, looking up into his smiling eyes.