A mixed-blood Native American wolf-shifter, abandoned by a teenage mother and ignored by an absentee father, Rio Waya has never fit in or felt worthy of love. But when he comes home to the Black Hills, he realizes he wants a mate of his own. Recovering from a cheating ex who started a new family behind her back, Sela López seeks escape to pull her life back together. As a documentary filmmaker and wildlife photographer, she rents a cabin in the Black Hills with plans to film the beleaguered wolf population. But she’s so busy looking through a camera lens she doesn’t see trouble coming. Sparks fly as mutual fears and vulnerabilities surface when Sela and Rio meet. She can’t figure out why the mysterious Mr. Waya is so anxious about having a documentary made of the Black Hills Wolves. But when his secret is exposed, all hell breaks loose. Can Rio win Sela’s trust and soothe her fears about allowing a hunky wolf-shifter into her heart?
The wolf approached the driver’s side of the truck, stretched its paws forward, and began to shake violently. The animal’s fur disappeared as if erased from existence. Coppery skin replaced it. The body of a wolf twisted and unfurled into the long muscular limbs of a man. The transformation was accomplished in a graceful blur of motion. In a heartbeat, the beautiful form of a naked man with black hair rose to his full height and drew back his broad shoulders. The man turned to the side to open the door. He reached in to retrieve his clothes.
“Holy fuck!” Sela didn’t mean to scream. The words roared out of her mouth. Her cry rolled toward the distant ridge, echoing. What had she witnessed? She couldn’t stop staring through the camera lens when she should be running for her life. What the hell was going on? Her wobbling knees were in danger of buckling. This was madness. It was unnatural. Wolves didn’t shift into men. The whole thing was impossible. She couldn’t breathe. Queasiness tormented her. For a horrible moment, she feared she might throw up.
In the process of stepping into his jeans, Rio stopped. His gaze turned in her direction. Tilting his head as if listening, he focused on her side of the ridge. Like a volcano erupting in slow motion, a look of shock blazed in his dark eyes. Once he realized he was being watched, he burst into action. Within seconds, he climbed into the truck and slammed the door, driving away so fast the tires kicked debris into the air.
“He knows!” Blood chilling terror ripped through her. She had to get back to the cabin. Escape before he could stop her was the only option.
Whatever Rio was—animal, man, or evil spirit—he now looked dangerous and enraged. She tossed the camera in the pack, running with abandon. Leaping from boulder to boulder instead of climbing them with caution one at a time, she misjudged a step, striking her ankle hard. The surge of pain made her whimper. By the time she reached the steep, muddy trail, her lungs were ready to explode, but she couldn’t slow down.
She flailed on, convinced her sole hope of surviving this bizarre incident was to get to the Jeep. The world needed to know there were shape-shifters on Gray Paw Mountain. She had the film footage to prove it.