Author: M.A. Grant
Heroine: Evie Thompson
Evie Thompson has this habit of getting under your skin slowly. She appears reserved and unobtrusive, but it didn’t take me long to figure out that the woman has a backbone of steel. She is like the women in my life for whom I have the most respect - there is a quiet strength to her, one that rises to attention in those darkest moments because she is the rock you cling to when your world is falling apart. I was blessed that she decided to talk to me and let me share her story.
Evie introduced herself at a party, pale face staring down at her unpainted fingernails, realizing that her every flaw was laid bare in that moment. She’d lost herself for years while trapped in an abusive relationship. I adored her the moment she “faced that tired reflection, staring herself down, searching desperately in the depths of her soul for some sign, some spark that she was still there. That Evie still existed. Slowly, as if unsure it could be done, her reflection carefully raised a hand in the mirror before extending a delicate-pink tipped finger in a distinctly unladylike universal gesture.” She left Trevor behind the next day, and caught a flight to Alaska where she would start a new chapter of her life.
She started fresh, with a new career and new goals. And although she’d sworn off men until she found some inner peace, her first encounter with Flynn Sinclair left her reeling from physical attraction. She was wary about letting another man into her life.
In Flynn’s case, it was unwittingly wise to take it slow - he was a werewolf, a former pack enforcer, and up to his eyeballs in familial turmoil. Unfortunately, he also fell desperately in love with her intelligence, her sense of humor, and her unwavering loyalty. She was his role model, teaching him how to confront his demons and live out his personal moral code. She was clearly his perfect woman, and he wouldn’t give up on his hope to find a life with her. It wasn’t until Evie recognized these qualities in herself that she was able to accept Flynn’s love and make the life she’d always dreamed of.
Connor carries news of their father’s descent into madness, and it looks like neither geography nor Flynn’s attempts at disengagement will put off a confrontation. Flynn had finally begun to believe that he might deserve something good in his life — something like Evie — but to move forward in the light, he must first reconcile with the dark.
Dark, moving and original, a story of family, survival, and getting on with life...
Flynn Sinclair understands pack loyalty — for years as his Alpha father’s enforcer, he has done things in the name of duty that he can’t ever forget. But the vast expanse of Alaska offers him a peace he’s never known. Alone, removed from pack life, he can focus on his research and try to forget his life before.
But duty has a way of inviting itself in, and Flynn finds himself doing two reckless things in one week: leaving the safety of Alaska to save his brother Connor’s life, and unwittingly falling in love with Evie Thompson, a woman who doesn’t deserve to be drawn into his terrifying world.
And then Flynn caught that scent. Vanilla and amber, clear as day. He followed it out the aisle, completely unaware and uncaring whether Connor followed or not. He traced it toward the back of the store, past the furniture and books, and found himself standing on the edge of a small crowd near the cooking section.
“Serve it with your fresh rice, and presto! A simple, healthy, filling meal for a fraction of the cost.”
Hearing the rich, full voice instantly shot Flynn back to the gas station. Even though he couldn’t see her, he was positive this was her, his girl. He could hear the murmurs of people as they were given food samples, noticed the crowd thinning. The man in front of him moved forward to get a sample, and Flynn caught his breath.
There she was, just like she had been at the gas station. Only this time, instead of looking flustered and nervous, she seemed perfectly calm and composed. He could see her curves under the store uniform and apron as she reached to hand out samples, took in the length of her pale neck and the delicate taper of her jaw. Her full lips moved as she smiled and chatted, quirking in the corner as her cooking partner, a pretty redhead, made a joke.
Look at me, Flynn willed. Look at me.
Dark eyes turned, looked out at the crowd one more time, that cursory glance catching his. Her eyes widened and the warm wave of her scent, mingled with the sharp wood smoke smell of anxiety, crashed over Flynn.He stood absolutely still, hoping he didn’t scare her away, taking in every detail, down to the smear of teriyaki sauce on her right glove. He slowly toured her body with his eyes and when he finally looked back up to her face, he noticed that she had been watching him intently. She stared right back at him, meeting his challenge. The wolf inside snarled its approval. And then her scent shifted, the smokiness fading and in its place...a blooming of sandalwood, of...arousal?