Alexandra's brother has changed since his mate's death, but she's certain he's no cattle killer. When she gets the chance to track down the real culprit, she jumps at the opportunity to clear the suspicions hovering over his head. And maybe ease her own grief.
Connor would do anything for Alex--even be her mate if she would only ask. Instead he settles for coming with her, ready to protect her from the rogue as well as human hunters. When another tracker shows up accusing them of the crime, though, there's no stopping Alex's instant attraction to the lone werewolf.
Dirk is on the same mission, but for a different reason: His pack owes one of the ranchers a favor. Once he finds Alex examining the latest bovine victim, though, he shifts his goals to include her mile-long legs wrapped around his waist. If only he can get past her interfering friend.
Trigger-happy hunters send them all into hiding, where huddling for warmth turns hotter than expected. The heat burns away any pretense that this is a sexual romp. It's a destined love that a killer could destroy...unless Alex makes a heartbreaking choice.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
November 30, 2010
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Wild Cat by Beverly Rae
"Shit, shit, shit." Alex skirted the bloodied area and knelt beside the mutilated carcass. "That's the third one today."
Batting the flies away, she held her breath against the putrefying stench and was glad she'd had the forethought to tie her hair into a ponytail. She wished she'd brought a handkerchief to cover her nose.
Once again, Alex reconsidered her decision to track the rogue werecat responsible for the cattle attacks. But it wasn't like she really had a choice. She could either accept the growing suspicion that her brother was the killer, or she could volunteer to find the real culprit. Either way, the situation sucked, but she'd made her choice, coming down on the side of proving her brother's innocence.
Understanding why her people assumed that Bryer was the killer wasn't difficult. After his mate had been fatally shot by hunters, he'd changed, growing bitter and angry. Then, when the council had refused his demand for retribution, he'd spurned the pride, vowing to make them pay along with the hunters. Bryer's words of hate and pain the night he'd stood before the council, condemning them, ripped through her, taking her away from the gruesome mutilation.
"Alex? Did you hear me?"
She jerked, bringing herself back to the present. "Uh, no. I'm sorry. What did you say?"
Conner, Alex's best friend and childhood companion, squatted beside her. "I said that, from the way she's torn apart, the cat must be a massive one. Definitely bigger than any regular mountain lion and much bigger than any werecat I've ever seen..."
She could almost hear the unspoken "with the exception of your brother" hanging in the air. Glaring at her friend, she gritted her teeth and counted to ten, letting the rush of irritation pass. She couldn't fault Conner. After all, he'd chosen to come along with her when no one else would. He'd come with her not only to support her brother, but in hopes of scoring points with her. Once again, she wondered if she could have a life with Conner as her mate. After all, if anyone had proven his love for her, it was Conner. But the extra spark, the underlying connection she yearned for, just wasn't strong enough.
Alex studied the handsome shifter. He was tall and lean with enough muscles to make her feel safe in his arms. His long black hair fell across his forehead, serving to highlight the sparkle in his obsidian eyes. In short, Conner was exactly the way she liked her males. Not for the first time, she sighed, easily imagining sex with him, her limbs wrapped around him, holding him to her. But was sex the extent of any relationship they could share? In fact, knowing he wanted her for his mate kept her from accepting his sexual advances. Even after she'd started using sex to drive away the loneliness, the hole in her life her brother had left, she'd kept her friend at arm's length. Still, if she relented and took him to bed, would that help clarify her feelings for him? As she'd done so many times before, she pushed the questions away and focused on the present.
She nodded, then moved away from the rotting animal. "Yeah, that's a werecat's work, all right. Just like the others."
"Like I said, one helluva big cat, too." He paused and released a heavy sigh. "One as big as Bryer."
She whirled on him, flashing fangs and sprouting claws. "Bryer didn't do this. He couldn't be this cruel, this wasteful. And he wouldn't put the pride in danger by stirring up the ranchers. I don't care what he said that night at the council. You know my brother, Conner, so how can you think that?"
She fisted her hands, not to keep from hitting him, but to rid herself of the uncertainty clawing its way into her gut. Memories of her brother sobbing on her shoulder, then swearing to tear human hunters apart flashed through her mind, but she forced them away. She looked away from Conner. Bryer had no one left, no one else to stand by him. She couldn't, wouldn't, give up on him.
"He's changed in the past year, Alex. After Lara died--"
"Leave his mate out of this." If only Lara had lived, then maybe Bryer wouldn't have changed, wouldn't have grown cold and hard. But multiple wounds had proven too much for the young werecat and the baby she'd carried. Alex swallowed the lump forming in her throat, defiantly lifted her head and confronted Conner.
Although she could see the argument in his eyes, Conner raised his hands and nodded in agreement. "Okay, okay. Take it easy, Stretch."
The childhood nickname, given to her because she'd towered over other female werecats, didn't lessen the anguish twisting her heart. Again she pushed away the horrible images trying to invade her thoughts and drew her body straighter. Instead, she pictured her brother chasing her around the hillside, tumbling over her in good-natured roughhousing. He'd grown from a pesky little brother into a wonderful, caring man. A man who'd had everything, a bright and happy future. Until the day Lara died. From that day on, he was no longer the playful free spirit she loved. Oh, how she missed his spontaneity and joking nature. It was as if the world had gone dark. She glanced at the carcass and shook her head. She had to believe in the brother she'd once known.
"Do you two like tearing dumb animals apart? Or is it because you like your meat rotten?"
Alex's snarl matched Conner's and together they spun toward the voice. She squinted into the sun, trying to see more than the outline of the figure standing on the nearby rocks. Resisting the urge to change into her werecat form, she slowly raised her hand to shield her eyes from the glare. Shadowed from the light, she could see the man clearer, his long form spreading wide at the muscled shoulders. His chest pushed against the denim material, highlighting the rock-hard abs beneath. A lock of dark hair flopped over his forehead, but it was his bright blue eyes that caught her attention. The laughter in them unsettled her and she dragged her gaze past the sensuous lips to the strong jaw. The tug inside her abdomen hit her, throwing her emotional equilibrium further off-base. Her vaginal walls tightened, cueing her libido's quickening. If ever she'd wanted to eat a man alive, this was the one. Then he grinned and she almost moaned with desire. His sexy, devil-may-care grin shot a hot lust-filled rush through her that had her swaying on her feet.
She cleared her throat, making sure her words wouldn't come out in a bedroom breath. "Who wants to know?"
"Oooh, she's a feisty little kitty." His grin grew wider. A grin reminiscent of the kind her brother used to brighten her day. She fought the smile tugging at the corners of her mouth.
She tilted her head and took a harder look at him. Not too many humans could recognize a shifter so quickly. "Trust me. My claws are a whole lot sharper than a kitty's. You'd better hope you don't find that out."