Wild Alpha Promise

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After a tragic childhood incident, Madison Black’s life is finally stable and productive, if predictably boring. All that changes when her sister Gale goes missing. The police are no help. Her one true friend, Cade Montrose, is her rock, but if he ever knew her secret, he, too, would desert her. When Cade leaves for Alaska, men in black trench coats murder a girl across the hall from Madison, just like her nightmares predicted. Could she be next?

Cade loves Madison. When she calls him in fear for her life, Cade demands she come to him. It’s obvious she is exhausted from lack of self-care, frightened, and keeping secrets; three things an Alpha does not tolerate. Luke Alexander can’t believe how his body reacts to the human, Maddie. How could he and Cade be attracted to a human? Madison is in trouble without any hope if they can’t figure out the key to her survival.

Suddenly, things begin to fall into place and unravel at the same time. A prominent shifter female is missing. Secrets are revealed, roles change, lives are at stake, and the elders have only part of the solution. It will be up to Cade, Luke, and Maddie to figure out the key to correct the imbalance in their world before they lose their one chance at happiness.

This is book two in the Alphas in the Wild series but can be enjoyed independently.

Publisher’s Note: This contemporary ménage shifter romance contains elements of danger, mystery, suspense, adventure, fantasy, paranormal elements, and power exchange.

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Sample Chapter

“Run, Gale! It’s them!”

Madison woke with a scream caught in her throat, a heavy wild pounding in her chest, and a throbbing pressure in her head. Her skin was hot and sweaty, but her belly was full of cold fear. Throwing the bed covers off, she was ready to flee the danger when her mind came fully awake. She sighed in relief, feeling the adrenaline-fueled terror recede. Another nightmare. The bed sagged as she collapsed on it.

These nightmarish dreams and she were no strangers; she’d had many over the years. But this wasn’t just another one in a long line of distant future happenings, or even of past losses, it was about her only living relative, her sister. Galena was twelve years old when their parents discovered a sibling was well on her way. After their parents disappeared, Gale had stayed around to raise Madison.

“Gale, where are you?”

The despair Maddie felt at the loss of her sister was nearly incapacitating. She reached over to grab her phone off the side table and sent another text before pulling the bed covers over her cold legs. Her arms automatically wrapped around her waist. She rocked as the tears fell fast and furious. A violent tremor of foreboding overtook her body, the kind she’d only experienced once before. Her parents’ tremendous tragedy.

It was several years before her mind shook loose of the terror of that day to allow her to recall any details. She was only eight when things went chaotic. Once she started to remember those days, the dreams began in earnest. Dreams reliving the events surrounding the day a stunned child watched through a small crack in the doorway as two huge men in trench coats forced her parents from their home. Maddie was finally able to talk to Gale about it when she turned twelve.

“I know about the dreams, Maddie. Mom told me a few weeks before we lost them that you had shared with her your premonitions. She did believe you, but she didn’t want you to be too frightened. Dad thought he knew how to handle it. They wanted to make sure to take care of you and me first. They set everything in motion for me to do that before they tried to address the warning. You allowed that to happen by sharing your dreams.”

“Did I cause what happened to them by dreaming it?” whispered a frightened Madison.

“No, honey. Mom said you were kissed by the Fae at birth. That is your two half-moon-like lips on your temple, the kiss of the Fae. You have a gift you should cherish. We all have a job to do, and yours is to help others through your dreams. Don’t dishonor yourself or the Fae by not using your gift for the good of those around you.”

Gale believed it and made sure her sister did as well. She pointed out the good that Madison knowing things in advance did for others. Over the years, it had saved pets, events, relationships and even a life once. All of that was wonderful, but not if Maddie lost her whole family because of it.

As she looked back on those years, she’d always thought that Gale wanted to tell her something important that day, but she never did. It had been as though she’d made a decision not to share. Even when Maddie told her she’d had a dream and there would be consequences for not revealing her secret, Maddie could not convince her otherwise. Gale had shut that massive door for then, if not forever.

After that incident, Maddie determined that she would never be satisfied with others deciding what she’d know and not know about any situation. If Madison had to dig deep, then so be it. And Maddie would believe her dreams unequivocally because she vowed never to be caught unprepared again. Especially when she knew there was something of great portent.

But she couldn’t force others to follow her pleading based on her dreams. She had kept the disclosures to others secret and anonymous. It was the only way to stay alive. She had almost told Cade Montrose, the man who had allowed her to step out on her own in advertising. He had helped her land several big clients, all because he had placed his faith in her with his own business. She knew instinctively that she could trust this man. She was attracted to him. She thought he was interested in her as well. After introducing Gale to Cade, her sister gave her seal of approval.

“That man is at least as crazy about you as you are about him. Why don’t you ask him out?”

“Because he’s my client and a friend. I don’t want to go messing that up with asking him out. It would be a sudden death to everything if he wasn’t interested and felt awkward afterward. Or worse, felt sorry for me.”

“I might not have your premonitions, but I know a few things about men. He isn’t like your waste of space ex-fiancé. I’m telling you it is important that you listen to me and go after that guy. He’s something special. I feel he could be the one for you.”

“You’re serious.” Her sister nodded with conviction. “Okay, I’ll think about it.”

“Good. Now take me to that cute little sandwich shop on Black Bear Avenue.”

Maddie had laughed. “Whatever you say, but it’s your treat this time.”

“Fine, my treat.” She was glad Gale had a good feeling about Cade because so did Maddie. And now Gale was missing, and she needed to tell someone who would listen. She needed to call Cade.

Fates and faeries, how was she ever going to sleep again? Her twenty-four years had not equipped her to go it alone without her sister, her parents or anyone. Gale disappeared after going out to meet her boyfriend, Jared. Maddie told her there was something up about him.

“I had a dream that he was hiding something. I saw him with someone else.”

“Now or later,” demanded Gale.

“I don’t know, but I’m worried.”

It had only been a couple of weeks, but Madison didn’t like him. Gale had given Maddie that look full of pity that Madison hated. She had shaken her head in that older sister way and continued dating him, but there was just something wrong about him.

“Just because your boyfriend dumped you after he thought you were the whistleblower on his embezzling, doesn’t mean all men are like that.” Madison waved away her logic. “I promise you most men aren’t even close to that underhanded, shriveled up ball sack. And to think he tried to say you had a part in the madness is criminal.”

“Gale, I was the whistleblower, and that is why I was so easily dismissed.”

“I hope he stays in jail long enough for you to find a decent guy. Someone like that contractor Cade.”

Cade was honest, generous, and incredibly hot. Still, Madison was through with trusting men outside of business, and Cade was business. She did his promotional work; he took her to lunch. Lunch because dinner meant she was interested. A week ago, Gale went out with Jared the Jerk again. When Gale didn’t answer Maddie’s text, she figured her sister was ‘otherwise occupied’. Well, at least someone was enjoying their off-hours.

Maddie feared that Gale was in danger after the first dream several months ago, but she was as stubborn as Maddie. Gale said it was time for her to settle down, and Jared might be ‘the one’. But now things were different. Maddie had long accepted that her dreams, good or bad, were predictive. This time, she’d had the same vision for several weeks: Her sister was stolen.

She begged Gale to listen when she tried to tell her of her fears. Gale said Jared would make sure she was okay. Maddie wanted to believe her, but her gut told her a different story. She never stopped warning her until Gale left for the last time with a carefree smile. Maddie was positive that her sister was still alive because her dreams continued. Their content, however, had changed. Gale was in danger, in pain, scared. Maddie’s night walking told her faceless protectors were getting closer to her sister, to herself.

Her sister’s saviors were near, but where precisely, she had no clue. Until her sister was found, Maddie was alone. Her gut told her that Jared had something to do with the trouble her sister was in. It also told her to call Cade. After resisting the urge, worrying herself to exhaustion, getting only snatches of sleep, she decided to call him. The call went to voicemail. Fate. Now the snatches of sleep she could get were full of dreams with some men caging Gale, others helping her, and hiding her. The places were unfamiliar to Maddie, but the shadows of men helping her sister had a comforting, familiar feel to them for some unknown reason.

Finally, after suffering a few more days, Maddie called Cade again. The moment he answered the phone, she relaxed, her cramping insides released their tension. She took a welcomed cleansing breath, and she suddenly wanted to cry. Gritting her teeth, she forced herself to respond when he spoke.

“Hey, Madison.”

“Hi, Cade. I know you’re at work, but I hoped I could catch you before you go home.”

“What’s wrong, mo chroí?” The immediate concern she heard melted her heart. He was the only one, outside of her sister, who Maddie believed really cared what happened to her.

“No- nothing. I just thought it’s been a long time since we’d chatted, and I wondered what you were doing.”

“Bullshit. I call foul, and if you weren’t in trouble, I’d spank you for that falsehood. Something is wrong, and I have just the cure to help you spill your guts; come to dinner with me. I insist.”

Her tummy flipped for a new reason. “No, not dinner. You know I don’t do dinner dates.”

“And that is a big problem I’m willing to work on with you. Besides, my cousin is in town so you won’t be alone with me. Now you can tell your brain that you aren’t going on a date but a business dinner. And because you find me irresistible.”

Madison laughed at that. He knew how to take the tension out of most situations. “I don’t want to steal your bonding time with him. Let me see you another time.”

“Nope. Meet you at O’Shaughnessy’s in one hour.”

“No, really. Don’t feel obligated. I would hate that.”

His voice lowered, sending her tummy into somersaults of excitement at his words. Her pussy began tingling. “Don’t make me come and get you, Madison. There will be consequences. And do not even consider saying yes and not showing up. Those consequences will be even more dire.”

“Y-yes, okay.” She took a deep breath. “I’ll be there in one hour.”

An hour later found Maddie walking through the parking lot trying to talk herself into turning around and going home as she simultaneously continued to move forward. She was usually more decisive than this, but when it came to Cade, her confidence waned. There was a significant twinge when she thought of her sister somewhere in need of help while she could have dinner with Cade as though it were of no consequence. That nearly got her turned around until a distinctive aftershave drifted past her nose, a comforting arm slid around her waist, and a voice warm and protective spoke low in her ear.

“You did come. I was prepared to go and get you.” He kissed her temple and pulled her tight to his side.

“Cade, I don’t think I’m up for this.”

“I’m going to introduce you to my cousin, who is anxious to meet the woman of my dreams, and then you are going to tell me everything that’s going on.”

“Cade—”

“Shush, baby, I know you’re worried about something, and we will deal with it, but let’s get you inside. It’s cold out here.” Cade began to guide her through the front door of the family-style pub when he spoke low again, “I will take care of it. Promise.”

***

Cade knew what a promise meant to her. She’d told him her mother had told her to never make a promise she reasonably couldn’t keep. And she never did. So, when he promised her, Maddie could rely on him. Cade also knew that sometimes Madison was tongue-tied with him in the beginning. It was too early for Cade to tell her how much he was attracted to her for fear that she would hide away from him. He certainly wasn’t going to announce that his wolf had already claimed Madison as their chosen mate. That would put paid to any hopes of crawling into Madison’s heart as she had his.

Regardless of the human mating issue he would have to deal with later, Cade wanted this woman, and he hoped, once they met and spent a little time together, Lucas and she would click. Luke and Cade had always thought they would share their woman, but if it didn’t work that way for Luke and Maddie, Cade would take her for himself. He was sure she was the one. His father would have never allowed the mating to take place with a human, which is only one of many reasons why he left the Banff and came to Seattle.

Cade watched Madison as she tentatively put out her hand in greeting to Lucas.

“Lucas, this is my lovely Madison.” He fucking loved how she blushed when he complimented her even as it angered him because it meant she hadn’t often received compliments.

She spoke to Lucas with an iconic deadpan demeanor. “Ignore him, Lucas, he’s a flatterer.”

Lucas burst out laughing. Cade joined in. And that right there was his girl peeking through. He hated that she was in the headspace that worry and lack of confidence put her. She was an intelligent woman, intense sometimes when working, but on a typical day, she teased him and laughed. He watched now as her quick flash of humor disappeared. Something was very wrong with his girl, and he intended to find out just what it was. Cade caught Lucas’ eye. Luke sensed it too.

When the introductions and backgrounds were shared, Madison was fascinated with the fact that Luke owned a lodge in Alaska. “A real lodge? Like made of logs?”

Luke laughed good-naturedly. “Real logs off the property, yes. And we are in a fjord as well. Lupine Lodge, in the Lupine Fjord, near the village of Foxglove.”

“It sounds incredible.”

“It is. The village is as beautiful as any place in the Banff, but it has the added advantage of not being too close to family.” Luke chuckled. Cade was about to respond when he watched in horror as big fat tears rolled down Madison’s face.

Mo chroí, what’s wrong, honey?”

Maddie shook her head as though she wouldn’t answer. That was not happening. He sat on one end of the bench she was sitting on, and Luke took the cue, moving to sit on the other side. She was devastated over something, and he was damned if he would allow her to carry it alone. They sandwiched her between their hard bodies, and his arm went around her. Luke murmured to the waitress. Hopefully, asking for something to warm her up and settle her nerves. Their dinner would be arriving soon.

“Madison?”

“Gale is missing.” The words just tumbled out before she buried her face in his flannel shirt and cried. Her effort at controlling her weeping was useless.

The first thing that came to Cade’s mind as he rubbed her back was the conversation he and Luke had. They discussed women disappearing, except it was women from the shifter community. They were home one day, gone the next. In the human world, things like that happened. Women left abruptly to get away from domestic violence, bills, lousy lives, devastating breakups, meddling families, and many other things, but not shifter women. Shifter females did experience all those things, but shifter law demanded balance, so if there was a wrong, it needed to be addressed. An offense required rectifying, payment of a kind. Some called it the law of reciprocity; others just knew it to be the way it was.

But Madison’s sister Gale wasn’t a shifter, although he thought there was something about her that interested him. Not in the way Madison interested him, but Gale had that same element of something special. He had heard that Luke’s brothers had life bonded with a human hybrid. He needed to investigate how they figured that out. Something to do with shifters, humans, with paranormal abilities.

Maddie’s crying was slowing down now, and her warm apricot brandy arrived. “Here, sweetheart, have a sip.”

She raised tear-drenched eyes to Cade and gave him a watery attempt at a smile. He nearly crumpled under the desire to take all her pain away. Luke spoke, his heart not overtaking his good sense. Not yet, anyway. “Madison, can you tell us what happened?”

“Maddie. Only Cade calls me Madison, and I can’t figure out why. All my friends call me Maddie.”

Luke nodded and patted her hand, keeping his over hers as he spoke. “Maddie then. Can you tell us why you think she is missing?”

“Because she is. I drea… um, she rarely spends the night out, and when she does, she calls me before she goes to bed and is home first thing the next morning. She left to see Jared nearly two weeks ago and hasn’t been home since.”

“Who is Jared?” asked Cade.

“Her boyfriend. Or at least he was. I saw him with another person, another woman, yesterday. Before you say it, she was awfully handsy for an office friend or a cousin. He had something to do with it, I just know it. I mean, he’s slimy. Do you know what he told the police when they contacted him? That he and Gale had ended their relationship several weeks ago? I was with them both since then. They hadn’t ended anything.”

Luke cleared things out of the way as their homemade steak and mushroom pies arrived. Cade had insisted she eat even though Maddie denied having any appetite. Finding she had no allergies, Luke ordered her what they had.

When he glimpsed her look of protest, he shrugged. “We take care of the woman with us. That’s the rule we’ve always lived by. Tonight, you are the recipient of that man code.”

They silently watched as the waitress left their meals, replenished their beverages and left extra napkins before leaving to serve another table. Cade appreciated the gesture and was leaving a decent tip for her helpfulness.

“When was the last time you slept?” Cade now could see past the happy relief that Madison was having dinner with him. He noticed her tired eyes and drawn cheeks, and once seen, they seemed glaringly obvious.

She shrugged. “A couple of days. Well, that isn’t strictly true, but I’ve been having nightmares. I can’t sleep after I have one.”

“About your sister.” Luke wasn’t asking. Maddie simply nodded.

“Have you gone to the police?” asked Cade as he forked a bite into Madison’s mouth, ignoring her protests. His wolf preened when she accepted it.

“Yes, but it was explained to me that while it was distressing to the family, it isn’t uncommon for adults to disappear for many reasons. The family is often surprised that they had those feelings. The priorities are children and the elderly, not healthy women in their thirties.”

Cade made a dissatisfied growling sound from his chest. “In other words, help will not be coming from them.”

“No, not exactly, just not like you see on television.”

Luke glanced tentatively at Maddie. “Okay, not playing devil’s advocate here, but why do you think she didn’t just decide to take a walkabout for a while?”

“You don’t know this, but we are all the family we have left that we know about. My parents were kidnapped and killed when I was eight. Gale is twelve years older than I am. She finished raising me. We live our own lives but do it from the same apartment. She just wouldn’t have left without telling me.”

“Right, that makes sense.”

Cade watched as Madison cuddled up the best she could, given it was a public place. He was proud of her for sharing her worries. She allowed Luke to feed her bites of dinner and sips of brandy, interspersed with sips of water. She was accepting comfort from each male in different ways. Cade took a mental sigh of relief. She didn’t seem to be distressed that two men were paying her attention. She also didn’t appear restricted by whatever unhealthy relationship she’d experienced before them. Whatever had made her hesitant to advance their relationship seems to have been assuaged.

He wondered if this acceptance would continue, or would he have to push harder to get her to see they were meant for each other. He’d deal with the shifter community that frowned on shifter/human relationships. He would also have to see how Luke was feeling about her. Luke went home tonight, but they would have just enough time to discuss his impressions before dropping him at the airport.

As they ate, Luke and Cade had discussed a variety of topics because it had been a while since they had caught up on life. Soon the conversation became a little more animated with all three of them speaking. Some of Madison’s old self peeked through, but she was still morose and reserved. Her small talk slowed. It was apparent she was quickly falling asleep on her feet. Luke urged her to finish eating and gave Cade a look he was familiar with. Luke wanted this wounded little bird with the sassy comebacks and sad face. Cade nodded his agreement. Cade had the added advantage of knowing her when she was on top of her game. It was a sight to see her go after something she wanted or believed in, and he wanted Lucas to see that too. Madison wasn’t a short trip for them, but a long journey.

“Okay, mo ghrá lomhara, we need to get you home and Lucas to the airport. Do you want to stay at my place? It might help to keep the nightmares away.”

He was disappointed when she shook her head. “Thank you, but I want to make sure that I’m home when Gale returns. If…” She shook her head resolutely. “When.”

“Okay, that makes sense, I guess, but honey, what if she doesn’t come home?”

The old familiar Madison reared her head and said, “I will find her.”

He nodded as he helped her with her coat. “I believe it if you do, but I’m not going to sit back and watch you fall apart while you wait.”

“I’m not falling apart.” Ironically, instead of challenging him to respond, she looked in Luke’s direction as if to demand he back her up.

“You need sleep, or you won’t be any good to anyone, Maddie.”

Luke’s tone was assured. He comforted Maddie as he steered clear of her request for support in her thinking. That was Lucas, always confident but a much better nurturer than Cade was. Cade understood that he was more demanding, less inclined to smooth salve on a wounded bit of pride, or a woman’s denial of the obvious. Still, with Madison, he wanted to do that. Luke must have been rubbing off on him.

“Madison, I’ll drive you home. Luke can follow in my car, so I can get him to the airport.”

“No, I can drive,” she said as she pulled herself up to her almost five-foot five height.

“You aren’t driving. Give me the keys. If you had an accident, I’m not prepared to endure the loss. I’d never forgive myself.”

“No, Cade. I’m driving.”

Luke shook his head. “Maddie, the traffic is still rush hour traffic, and you’ve had a drink. Not all of it, granted, but I worry that with your lack of sleep, the brandy might have gone to your head.”

“I’m not drunk.”

“Of course not. We would never have allowed that even if you had wanted to try. Cade and I would be more comfortable if we made sure you got home safely. I have a long flight, and I don’t want to spend it worrying about your safety. I would be able to nap if I knew you were not in harm’s way.”

She sighed and nodded, handing Cade her keys. “You’re probably right.”

Cade kissed her temple and took the keys. “Thank you, honey.”

Later, on the way to the airport, Cade and Lucas talked about Madison. “So, what do you think of Madison?”

“She’s hurting and not to state the obvious, but she’s human, bro.”

“I know, but there’s something different about her. Can’t you feel it? Smell it?”

“She wears some kind of floral fragrance, so her scent wasn’t clear to me, but Cade, come on, if we go for her and she is nothing but human, are you willing to risk having non-shifting offspring? The elders are clear about the possible complications with a human. We can mate one, but we must continue to mate available females in our community. I don’t know of any human females who would be okay with that scenario. Now, if she were a hybrid like my brothers’ mate, then there would be no problem.”

“What do you mean? Hunter and Gage life-bonded with a human hybrid? Where did they find her?”

“I guess Erin found them. It’s a long story, but the point is, it is possible. If you say there is something different about her and her scent is off, we need to explore it.”

“So, you feel the pull?”

“Not going so far as to say I have the same gnawing need for her as you seem to have, but then again, I don’t know her like you do. Why don’t you bring her up to the lodge when you come? I’d love to see her in my environment. She could probably do with a stress reliever.”

“Thanks, I’ll see what I can do about convincing her to come.”

***

Maddie woke in a sweat with the same disheartening version of her nighttime visions still screaming in her head. The same voices and frightening scenes she’d had for nearly two weeks. Every night after dropping off to sleep on the couch, she would dream her sister was alive, but not safe. The message was clear: the Fae were sending the information, but Maddie could not decipher it well enough to find and save her sister. Nothing in the dream told her how to help her. After one of those increasingly frightening nightmares, Maddie had little hope of falling back to sleep.

Her mind drifted back to that night almost a week ago when she had dinner with Cade and his cousin, Lucas. Cade, tall, muscular and dark with a hint of violence in his delivery, provided a perfect contrast to his cousin Luke, who was an equally large man but the opposite of Cade in every manner and deed. Cade was sculpted and drew the eyes of women looking for rough. Luke was well dressed, even in his casuals.

He was muscular, but his shirt didn’t groan as it was stretched taut across his chest, but lay sexy and comfortably over his toned body. Luke and Cade were night and day, but while Cade could be accused of being the devil incarnate, Luke would never be called an angel. Luke’s delivery of his charms, however, was entirely different than his cousin’s. And they were both sexy as fuck.

Cade was painfully honest. When he dropped Maddie off, he told her she ‘looked like hell’ and then proceeded to use that as the reason he wanted her sleeping more and worrying less. In theory, it sounded good, but these days, it was impossible to put into practice. Lucas liked to be in charge, no different than Cade, but was generally gentler and more tactful in his conversation than his cousin. Taking care of others in a more sensitive way came naturally to Luke. Their dinner in the pub showed her that. Luke definitely had a better manner of phrasing his bossiness than Cade, who more resembled the proverbial ‘bull in a china shop’.

And yet, she had the impression that Lucas was less willing to give her space to be who she was professionally and hold her own in the world. Was it possible, even with his business acumen, that he could retain those old-fashioned ideals her grandfather held? Luke didn’t precisely baby her that night in the pub, but he came close. Luke was certainly more of a nurturer than his cousin. She might be wrong, but Cade had accepted her strong-willed side without too much fanfare. Likely because he had hired her to do a job that she had proven she could do. Lucas didn’t leave the impression that he would be as easy a sell. And why did she care? She wasn’t marketing herself, her attributes, or talents to either man outside of professional networking.

If that were true, why was she reliving that night in the pub so often? Damn if she wasn’t attracted to both men for just those differences, but that was crazy. Most people didn’t have two men. Hell, she didn’t know even one person with two lovers who knew of each other. She would be happy to have one but two, not cool. But they were into it, she could tell by their lack of competition or jealousy. Maybe she was wrong, but she was drawn to them both. If they noticed the other, it was no big deal to them. She was mortified.

Maybe they knew she was tired and didn’t want anything to happen to her, just as they would do for anyone. But it was sexy and gave her a sense of value. Something no man, let alone two of them, had done for a long time. Whether they knew what they were doing or were simply being gentlemen, it was hot as hell to be taken care of by two men. It was reason enough to explore being with the cousins, so she allowed her thoughts to wander further.

Life with Cade would be sizzling as in–sparks would fly often. The man was showing himself to be protective, possessive and demanding with little tolerance for disobedience. Life with Luke would probably be more exact, minimum expectations. He’d be gentle and understanding with the same possessive, protective behavior as Cade, maybe a little more.

Cade drove her home in her car; he kissed her temple again and hugged her tightly when he left her at the door.

“Are you sure you won’t come to my place?”

“I need to stay here. Can I call you if I need to talk?”

“Life will get awfully uncomfortable if you don’t, and I find out about it. I’ll check on you in case you don’t call.” There was that dark tone, that ‘or else’ manner that sent her core tumbling. Maddie wanted so much more with Cade, and yet she was afraid to try another relationship. He did check on her every day since. Cade had become more possessive since she had agreed to go to dinner with him and Lucas. Several days ago, her sadness turned to depression and had gotten the better of her. Maddie didn’t answer his call. He was at her door in an hour with dinner and a threat of dire consequences if it happened again. Even with that warning hanging in the air, just seeing Cade’s face, hearing his voice, lightened her heart and her mood. The penalties might have included spanking if she read his signals right. He clarified it when he was ready to leave.

“You sure you won’t come home with me? I have a spare room if that is the problem. I wouldn’t boot you out of my bed, but I’d understand if you wanted the guest room.”

“No, I’m good.”

“Madison, am I reading too much into our time together?”

“Cade, I can’t answer that because I don’t know what you’re thinking?”

“Us. Is there an ‘us’? Are you feeling the same connection?”

“I’ve not had a good track record with dating. I don’t tend to pick the kind of man who stays faithful and sticks around.”

“Do you worry that I am like that?”

“Honestly? It has nothing to do with if you will stay the course. It has everything to do with me. Can I trust enough to allow you to be who you are. I want to, but with Gale missing, and no help from the police, I just don’t know if I’m ready.”

“Good enough for now, but if you need anything or if you avoid my calls again when you don’t have a good reason, I promise you, I’ll warm up that cute butt of yours and take you to my place with or without your permission. Am I clear?”

A tremor of anticipation raced up her spine and heated her belly and parts south. When she thought of Cade’s dominance, just the thought of spanking seared her through and through. Not even Maddie’s lousy ex garnered that intense of a reaction, no matter how good he thought he was.

Maddie was confused and lonely. And scared. She didn’t want to disclose any more of who she was to Cade because she feared he wouldn’t believe her. Or worse yet, think she had lost her mind in grief. So, she laughed his words off instead. She wished she could talk to her sister. That reminded her of Gale’s situation, and the tears started again.

She cried herself back to sleep only to hear violent pounding on the door across the hall. She looked out the security glass in the door and saw two men in black coats there. Her heart raced so hard she couldn’t catch her breath. The panic began to take over, and Maddie fought it. However, her emotional state was weakened, too reactive to do as she had learned when faced with a situation. Concentrate on the good, the safe, and power through.

Was she dreaming? It didn’t feel like it, but she must be. It was so much like her dreams and the reality when her parents were kidnapped, had she confused the two? Was she lost between reality and her dream world? Maddie’s terror mounted, her breathing came quick and shallow. Her vision was tunneling. Had the temperature gone up? There was a sickening trace of scent infiltrating her apartment that her dreams couldn’t have conveyed. No, this was real. Too damn real.

Sliding down to the floor, Maddie put her head between her knees and tried to regain control. It was no use. She was tired in every way imaginable. She desperately wanted her sister, and she wanted Cade. Unconsciously, she reached for her cell before discovering she must have dropped it when she went to the floor. Hot and cold sensations strobed through her body. The door pounding stopped. She could hear footsteps receding down the hallway towards the stairs. She took in a deep raspy breath and let it out in a shaky whoosh of air.

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3 reviews for Wild Alpha Promise

  1. Redrabbitt

    The second book in the Alphas in the Wild series has me craving more and is an excellent addition to the first book, Wild Alpha Fantasy. Ms. Tasha Winters has a wonderful way of spinning a tale, keeping just enough secret, slowly revealing the past and how it affects the present and a hefty dose of paranormal romance. Throw in two dominant shifter wolves, plenty of angst, desire, and mystery, and you have a fantastic story about Cade, Lucas, and Madison. While this story could possibly read well as a stand-alone, it will have details and people from the first story. Hunter and Gate are brothers of Lucas older, along with their mate, Erin, will also be in this tale.
    Cade has wanted Madison since he first met her months ago, and now things are even more unstable, with her sister missing leading to stress and worry. Lucas, a cousin to Cade, is in town, and he wants Maddie and Luke to meet and see if there is chemistry between them too. It has been planned that Cade and Luke would one day claim a mate together as Hunter and Gage did with Erin. Another issue with Maddie is she just a human, or could she be more?

    “I will take care of it. Promise. Madison wasn’t a short trip for them, but a long journey.” –Cade

    “We take care of the woman with us. That’s the rule we’ve always lived by. Tonight, you are the recipient of that man code.” –Lucas

    “I know why you and Cade are friends as well as cousins. You’re so much alike. You think alike and are bossy but in a nice way.”

    The paranormal romance will have Cade and Lucas knowing that there is more to Maddie that meets the eye, and getting her away from Seattle and at the Lodge in Alaska will be imperative to solving the mystery. Why has her sister gone missing for so long? The nightmares that Maddie is having let her know that Galena is alive but injured and needs her help. The story has the good, the bad, and the evil, and it is going to clash. There is also the issue that now that Maddie has met her mates, she has a time-clock ticking down. She will need to shift and doesn’t even know she is a shifter.

    The story is full of secrets, mystery, suspense, danger, and passion. Learning more about Hybrid Humans will have Luke seeking higher counsel and learning more, and time is of the essence to help Maddie—not only for her—but for him and Cade.

    Throw in dominant alpha males, feisty, stubborn females, and plenty of action and adventure, and you have a page-turning tale. The story does have some discipline, in various forms, and mildly explicit sex scenes. There is some very mild “daddy dom” talk but not age-play.

    While this story does not end on a cliffhanger, I do believe we will be seeing more—probably a story of Galena and her shifters that are guarding her, Barrett, and Race.

  2. Marybeth

    Madison has had a gift since she was young. She has dreams that come true. When her sister Gale goes missing, she dreams that she is in trouble. But she can not get the police to look for her. Maddie becomes scared to stay alone and calls on Cade. Cade is a shifter who has been attracted to Maddie for quite a while. He thinks she is human and shifters aren’t allowed to mate with humans. They eventually get together with his friend Luke who is also a shifter. The world that the author builds is very detailed. How humans don’t know about fae, shifters and demons, I have no idea. But they don’t. I enjoy how they have the elders to help them figure things out. That is a nice touch. I’m looking forward to the next book which I hope is Gale’s story with her mates. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  3. John

    This second book in the Alphas in the Wild series by Tasha Winters was a delicious story about hot juicy mating in a reverse harem of shifters, combined with a mystery of women going missing. The mystery aspect of women going missing is always at the front and center of the story as well as woven in between the other activities and actions of the major characters. As always, Ms. Winters does not spare the details of the sexual encounters between her men and women, which definitely makes this an erotic read. At the same time, it is also a story about real domestic discipline as enforced wolf-style, complete with some hard spankings to any disobedient women, whether they be shifters or not. Of course, any domestic discipline story becomes a romantic story as well, as only if there is love and caring can this type of lifestyle flourish and survive. This is a voluntary review of an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from Booksprout for Blushing Books.

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