Divided Loyalties, Ashwood Falls, #4
By Lia Davis
Trained to hunt rogues and protect the human race from the threat of shifters, Christa Baker is beginning to rethink her career choice. Especially when her niece and nephew—who she’s raised on her own—end up in the crossfire. Now she’s looking for a way out and disappear off Shield’s radar for good. She never thought her out would be a gorgeous wolf who kidnaps her after raiding Shield HQ.
Hayden Raines has always followed the rules. As the Ashwood Fall wolf Marshal, he has to set the example for those working under him. When he sets his sights on the beautiful human hunter things go downhill, fast. Fate has a funny way of turning things inside out—because the woman he kidnaps, the enemy he might need to protect his family from, just happens to be his mate.
Warning: Contains one woman on a path she’s not ready for, a man who thought things would be different, and a heated exchange that turns out to be the best thing ever.
Ashwood Falls reading order:
Divided Loyalties by Lia Davis – Excerpt Six
Ana must have been staring at the family photo for hours. At least that’s what it seemed like, even though she’d arrived at Blaine and his mates’ home fifteen minutes ago.
The Alpha family home.
The one she should have grown up in, but didn’t, thanks to Felix Darwin, the bastard Alpha of the rogue Onyx Pack and the same male trying to destroy so many shifter communities and innocent lives. The one she believed was her father until a few weeks ago. That was when she had left the only life she’d known for a new one within a new Pack where her real family lived.
The family in the photo was hers, at least should have been hers. Longing filled her, making her chest ache and her eyes burn. The three males, Keegan, Blaine, and Alec, circled a dark-haired female. Keegan, her biological father, stood at the female’s back, hands resting on her shoulders.
The female was her mother. Cate. Ana’s nose tingled and vision blurred. Taking a deep breath, she blinked the tears away. She would not cry, damn it.
Ana wasn’t as sad as she was angry. She’d missed out on so much of life because Felix stole her away her parents and her brothers. Now she had thirty-eight years to catch up on.
She reached out and brushed a finger over Cate’s smiling face. The only difference in their looks was Cate had brown curly hair, and Ana had straight black hair like Keegan’s.
“I still can’t believe how much you look like her.”
Ana whirled around at the sound of the male voice, startled and a little embarrassed to be caught nosing around. Alec leaned against the kitchen island with his arms folded. His expression was devoid of any emotion, just like all the other times she’d seen him. “I’m sorry, I…”
Alec straightened and walked toward her. Something flashed across his face that looked a little like sadness, but it was gone almost as fast as it appeared. “Don’t apologize. This is your home, too.”
She shrugged and turned back to the photo. “All my life I’d wondered who my mother was. I imagined what she looked like. If she would have told me bedtime stories.” She sighed and swallowed the lump in her throat. “All silly little-girl dreams.”
Alec stepped next to her and pressed his shoulder into hers. His warmth and the connection she felt whenever she was near her new family was almost too much for her. She fought not to move away from him. The discomfort of all the kindness and acceptance was making her sappy.
She didn’t have time for softness. She had to hunt Felix down and stop him before he did any more damage.
“She did read to you when she was pregnant. I used to sit nearby to listen while pretending to work.”
She peered at his profile, studying his sculptured features that she guessed females embarrassed themselves over. When Ana had first seen Alec, she’d thought he wouldn’t welcome her. In the medical center, he’d just stared at her, brows dipped in a frown, and shadows showed beneath the surface. Her first thought had been stay away.
And that’s what she’d done.
Now to stand shoulder-to-shoulder, as he shared a private moment with her made her heart ache all the more. He took in a deep breath and rolled his shoulders then stepped away from her. “What are you doing today?”
“I’m shadowing Cameron.”
He nodded and put his hands in the back pockets of his blue jeans. “Good. Well, I have junior soldiers to train and the computers in the new nursery need setting up.”
Alec and the wolf Beta, Dane, were the go-to people for technical issues, and they’d built and monitored the electronic part of the security system for the den.
Silence filled the small space between them. Ana looked around the room, unsure what to say to the brother she felt a connection to, but had never known.
Finally, Alec spoke. “Well, I better get going. I’ll see you at dinner?”
She smiled. The Andrews family along with a few extended family members and friends got together every night for dinner at Keegan and Addyson’s home since it was large enough to accommodate their growing number.
“Yes, I’ll be at dinner.”
Alec smiled, wide, making his brown eyes crinkle a little. “Good. See you then.”
He turned and left. Ana was still smiling when the front door closed, and Cameron came into the room from the hallway behind her.
“Was that Alec?”
“Yes.” Ana turned to look at the Alpha’s mate, her new sister-in-law, and frowned. Cameron seemed a little pale. “Are you feeling okay?”
Cameron smiled, but it wasn’t a very convincing one. “Yeah, just a little queasy. Probably something I ate.”
On the heels of that statement, Graham, one of Cam’s mates, walked into the room bare-chested and the top button of his jeans undone. Ana felt her cheeks heat, and she turned her head when he wrapped his arms around Cam and kissed her neck.
A few moments later Cam met her at the door. “Where do you want to go first?”
“I’m not sure. I’m just shadowing today, so whatever you need to do is good with me.”
“Cool. It’s my off day, so we can see if we can stir up some trouble.”
Ana smiled, deciding she liked her new sister-in-law.
About the Author:
Lia Davis is a mother to two young adults and two very special kitties, a wife to her soul mate, a paranormal romance author, and co-owner to Fated Desires Publishing, LLC. She and her family live in Northeast Florida battling hurricanes and very humid summers. But it’s her home and she loves it!
An accounting major, Lia has always been a dreamer with a very activity imagination. The wheels in her head never stop. She ventured into the world of writing and publishing in 2008 and loves it more than she imagined. Writing is stress reliever that allows her to go off in her corner of the house and enter into another world that she created, leaving real life where it belongs.
Her favorite things are spending time with family, traveling, reading, writing, chocolate, coffee, nature and hanging out with her kitties.
Lia is hosting a tour-wide giveaway of a $50 gift card to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, OR All Romance eBooks (Winner’s choice), an eBook from her back list (Divided Loyalties not included), and a swage pack. Just leave a comment and follow the Rafflecopter instructions below to enter.
The giveaway is open to international readers.