Lord of the Wolfyn (Harlequin Nocturne #123)

Lord of the Wolfyn (Harlequin Nocturne #123)

3.8 49
by Jessica Andersen
     
 

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Once upon a time…the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden. To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with vengeance. Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs…and time is running out.…

For practical Reda Weston, nothing could explain how reading a sexy version of Little Red

Overview


Once upon a time…the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden. To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with vengeance. Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs…and time is running out.…

For practical Reda Weston, nothing could explain how reading a sexy version of Little Red Riding Hood catapulted her into another realm—face-to-fang with the legendary wolf-creature who seduced women. A wolf who transformed into a dark, virile man….

Dayn cursed the Sorcerer that turned him wolfyn and damned him to a lonely fate. As a beast, he mated with women to gain strength. Strength he needed to save Elden. But as a man, he craved Reda's heated, sizzling touch. With little time left, Dayn had to either embrace his wolf to save his kingdom…or fight it to save his woman.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780373618705
Publisher:
Harlequin
Publication date:
10/18/2011
Series:
Nocturne Series , #123
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.60(h) x 0.90(d)

Read an Excerpt

Reda Weston stalled on the sidewalk outside the Cat Black Curiosity Shop with her hand on the latch and her stomach in knots.

The wide-eyed reflection that stared back from the tinted window wasn't anyone she recognized. Yes, the stranger had a wavy red-shot ponytail the same as hers, and she was wearing the ratty jeans and beat-up leather jacket Reda had pulled out of her closet that morning because there was no reason for her to dress like a cop these days. And yeah, those were her deep blue eyes at the back of the dark hollows that had taken up permanent residence. But if that was her, what the hell was she doing?

Normally, she wouldn't go anywhere near the kitschy magic, witchcraft and whatnot shops that lined the Salem waterfront unless someone called 9-1-1…but then again, normal circumstances had hit the bricks six weeks earlier. And she had asked MacEvoy, the owner of Cat Black, to find the book for her.

"It's here," his phone message had said. "And if you liked the picture you bought, you're going to love the rest of it."

Like it? Heck, she'd spent the past four days staring at the framed woodcutting of a dark, eerie forest of gnarled and twisted trees, with just a hint of eyes in the shadows. More, she had dreamed about the image…and others like it.

A clatter startled her and she flinched for the weapon she wasn't carrying, then winced when she saw that the noise had come from the shaking of her hand on the door latch. Worse, she didn't know how long she had been standing there.

"Don't be surprised if you have sleep disturbances, panic attacks, behavioral changes, even compulsions," the department shrink had told her. And yeah, she'd had all of the above…except for the last one. This was her first full-blown compulsion. Or rather, the strange urge that practically dragged her into the creepy-ass store earlier in the week had been the first. This was her second. And it was much stronger.

It's not the same book, she told herself. It's just another copy. Except that her maman had said it was one of a kind. You're just transferring, trying to solve something that's solvable because you know the real stuff isn't. That was the practical part of her talking, her father's daughter. And suddenly she saw the major in the shape of the blue eyes that stared back at her, and in the ramrod posture that made her look taller than her true five-six. Inwardly, though, her mother's voice whispered, At least take a look. What have you got to lose?

"My sanity," she muttered under her breath, ignoring the ache that fisted beneath her heart. She hesitated another moment, then shook her head and pushed through the door, causing a distant bell to ring in the back of the cluttered shop.

As before, the place smelled disconcertingly like foot powder—gritty talc with a cloying perfumed undertone that made her think of funerals. Display racks near the door held the usual suspects: artsy postcards, books on the witch trials, copies of The House of the Seven Gables and such. But the racks themselves were made of wood rather than the usual cheesy wire, and the sides were carved with strange, sinuous curves and the hint of scales and teeth. The walls were painted black, with greenish white accents she bet glowed in the dark when MacEvoy turned off the lights. It would make the perfect backdrop for him to pull out the three-foot-high grim reaper statue that was locked in a glass case behind the register at the back of the store, and which she'd bet a hundred bucks converted, Transformer-like, into a giant bong.

Yeah. This was so not her scene. She should just leave.

"Miss Weston!" MacEvoy came through an employees-only door with his hands outstretched and his red-rimmed eyes holding an expression of pleasure that might or might not be faked.

A middle-size, middle-age grasshopper of a man, he was all arms and angles inside a faded black suit that made him look like a Victorian mortician and, she suspected, had come from the clearance rack at Cosby's Costumes a few doors down.

Don't be bitchy, she told herself as she shook his hand and returned his greeting. It's not like he came looking for you. And it wasn't his fault she felt totally out of place. The problem wasn't with the location, or with him.

"Right this way." He headed to the register area, where a wood-and-glass case held a collection of impressively ugly silver-and-moonstone jewelry, along with a sterling frog whose garnet eyes seemed to follow Reda when she moved. But that was just her imagination.

Right?

Holding back a shiver, she reminded herself that she didn't believe in magic, that this was all just a put-on for the tourists. If the atmosphere was working on her, it meant that MacEvoy was better at his shtick than she would've thought.

Disappearing behind the case, he rummaged around for a moment, then made a satisfied noise. When he straightened, he was holding a black, metal-edged cardboard clamshell box that was marked Acid-Free Archival Storage on the spine.

Reda's mental cash register went cha-ching and she wondered whether she should do a "thanks but I've changed my mind," and have another session with the shrink instead. Certainly be cheaper. Or she could go home and fill out the paperwork on her desk—applications to the forensic-science programs at Colby and New Haven. That wasn't the same as saying she was wimping out. It was just exploring options.

But those practical thoughts exited stage left the second MacEvoy set the box on the counter and flipped it open…and a skim of heat washed through her, followed by a prickle of gooseflesh that made her feel suddenly awake, though she hadn't been aware of being sleepy.

The shopkeeper grinned. "You like it?"

"Oh, yes," she breathed. "Yes, I do." Because it wasn't just any book. It was the book. It had to be.

The cover was intricately carved with another forest scene, this one with an achingly lovely girl front and center, running along a narrow path. She was wearing a long, flowing cloak over a peasant dress, and was looking back over her shoulder with an expression of mingled terror and excitement. There were no authors' names, just a title that stood up a little taller than the rest of the carving. Rutakoppchen.

"Red Riding Hood," she whispered, hearing the words in her mother's voice. Not just one of a kind, her maman had said on that long-ago birthday, but yours alone. It was sent to me, darling, to give to you when the time is right.

MacEvoy looked surprised. "You speak the language? The paperwork says it's some obscure Western European dialect, and doesn't make any promises on the translation."

"I don't need a translation." She already knew the story by heart. Pulse thrumming, she reached for the book.

The shopkeeper hooked the box with a spindly finger and tugged it back an inch. "You going to buy it?"

Her plastic was on the counter before she was even aware of having made the decision. More, she didn't yank it back when MacEvoy two-fingered it, even though her smarter self was inwardly screeching that they hadn't talked price.

She didn't care. She had to have it, regardless of whether it was really the same one or not, really one of a kind. Not because of the strange, fragmentary dreams she'd been having every night since she brought home the print—a circle of stones like Stonehenge only not, a sense of pounding urgency, a flash of green eyes that brought heat and left her to wake up alone and aching—but because it was a missing part of her past. And if that was transference, she didn't give a crap right now.

As he swiped her card, she brushed her fingertips across the carved wood, and got a jolt of strange excitement. Nerves jangled and her smarter self asked what the hell was going on here, why was she acting like this?

"Is it true that the wolf doesn't just eat Red in this version?" MacEvoy asked as he waited for the slip to print. He glanced over at her, getting a gleam in his red-rimmed eyes. "The paperwork said that he seduces her first, enslaves her, plays with her until he gets bored…and then he eats her."

"Something like that," she said. She was dying to page through, but didn't want to do it in front of him, though she didn't know why, just as she couldn't explain the sudden pounding of her heart and faint clamminess of her hands, or the liquid churn low in her belly. All she knew for sure was that her hands were shaking as she scrawled on the slip, and then flipped the clamshell shut and tucked it under her arm. "Thanks. See you around." Or not.

"Wait," he said as she headed for the exit. "I wanted to ask you… Aren't you that cop? The one—"

She put her head down, clutched the box and bee-lined it out of the shop.

The short walk to her apartment on the outskirts of the "cool" district where the old houses were still getting restored seemed to take forever, especially when two of her neighbors pretended they didn't see her. Guilt stung, but Reda told herself—as the shrink had told her—that they weren't acting that way because they thought she was to blame for her partner's death in a liquor-store robbery gone bad. Like most of her friends and family, they just didn't know what to say anymore given that Benz had been dead for months now, and she was still ghosting around looking as if her best friend had died.

Except that he had. And it was her fault. Not because she'd done anything wrong, but because she hadn't done anything. She had frozen. Just stood there while a strung-out meth head looking at his third strike opened fire.

The news reports had said she was lucky to get away. The other cops hadn't said anything, really. Just like her neighbors didn't now as she hurried past them. But for a change the uneven thudding of her heart didn't have anything to do with the sidelong looks and whispers, or the knowledge that her father and brothers had been right when they said she wasn't the save-the-world type. Instead, it was the heavy weight of the box she held clutched to her chest, gripping it so tightly her fingers had gone numb.

She was breathing so fast she was practically lightheaded by the time she let herself into her small, homey apartment. Not even pausing to shuck out of her leather jacket, she dumped her purse near the door and crossed to the narrow galley kitchen. The hollow sound the box made on the butcher-block counter reminded her that she hadn't looked at the credit-card slip, didn't know how much she had dropped on the thing. Didn't care.

"So open it," she told herself, the words sounding far too loud on air that had gone still around her, like the world was holding its breath. Or maybe—probably—that was just her. She was turning this into a way bigger deal than it needed to be.

Still, her fingers trembled as she flipped open the box, then reached in and touched the wooden cover. She told herself the faint tingle was her imagination, just as the hot dreams she'd been having the past few nights had been nothing more than memories of her girlish rescue fantasies with the temperature turned up by her adult experiences.

She traced the raised lettering. Rutakoppchen. A version of Red Riding Hood with the wolf as both sinner and seducer, the woodsman as the hero who saves the girl and takes her away from her old life to a new, better one. Seeing the book, touching it, made her mother feel closer than she had in years. Even if it turned out to be just a copy, it was worth whatever she had paid.

But she had to know, so she opened it. The cover creaked like an unoiled door, her throat became suddenly parched and tight…and then her eyes filled at the sight of a blank page with two lines of elegant script right in the center, done in blue ink that had faded over the past two decades.

To my sweet Alfreda on her eighth birthday, with the rest of the story to come when you turn sixteen.

—Your maman

Reda's heart thudda-thudded in her chest as she brushed her fingers across the last word. Maman. Her older brothers had teased her about putting on airs, calling her "princess" and poking at her because there was nothing remotely royal about any of them. They were army brats and proud of it.

Meet the Author

A lifelong New Englander, Jessica Andersen received a PhD in genetics from Tufts, but when the committee head said her thesis “read like a mystery novel,” she admitted she was also writing romance. She now writes full time, and has penned more than thirty science-themed intrigues and paranormal thrillers that have hit the bestseller lists and been nominated for numerous awards. She lives in CT with a cast of four-legged friends, and is hard at work on her next novel!

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Lord of the Wolfyn 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 49 reviews.
RtBBlog More than 1 year ago
Reviewed By: Jen Review Copy Provided By: Net Galley I've been working my way through this series that had so much potential. This third installment fell short for me and is so far the weakest link. The story arc of the children of Elden trying to return t overthrow the evil Blood Sorcerer is advanced. While this book may stand alone, it's going to make much more sense if you start at the beginning of the series. Lord of the Wolfyn is "based" on the fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood. Ms Andersen does a good job linking the two, which may be the strongest aspect of this story. What didn't work for me was the characters. I had trouble caring for Reda, in particular, and Dayn. Reda was just too whiny through much of the book, and while she grows, in the end I just wasn't caring and wanted Dayn to get home so I could move on to the last book. I'll finish the series since I'm invested and want to know how it all works out. But if this one had been my introduction, I'm not sure I would have continued.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Surrounded by limp black flags on tall wood posts. If someone wishes to leave, they must reach the top of the post and take the flag. If they can accomplish that, they are escorted 'out'.
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I've read all the other books for this series and i have to say this one i did not really enjoy. I'm dissapointed. The other stories were really good and i was so excited to read this one too. Bummer... :(
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I started reading this series because I love Gena Showalter. The first and second were good, but this one is not holding my interest. I don't enjoy the way it is written. I always finish my books in about two days, always finding an excuse to read a little more. Not with this one! I am always finding an excuse NOT to read more...bummer!
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RBtWBC More than 1 year ago
Lord of the Wolfyn is my favorite of the Royal House of Shadows series so far; with four great authors working on this series Jessica Andersen was the only one that I was unfamiliar with but I will defiantly be looking up more of her works now! Fantastic as a stand-alone, Lord of the Wolfyn follows Dayn ¿ a prince of a magical realm that was taken over by an evil sorcerer. When the King and Queen lay dying they summoned enough magic to perform one last spell to transport their four children to safety but also instilling an undeniable need for vengeance. When the spell took place, Prince Dayn was on the hunt when he was transported to the wolfyn realm by the king and told only that one day a woman would come to guide him back home. When that woman finally arrives Dayn is unprepared for a human with no idea how to guide him anywhere, but with only four days to do it he is not going to waste time. Reda Weston is well versed in fairy tales, especially when it comes to the big bad wolf, but she never expected to be tossed head first into one! Coping with the grief and guilt from the death of her partner, Reda is investigating an old childhood storybook when she is thrown into the magical dimension of Wolfyn. Coming face-to-face with the virile woodsman is a surprise but when he expects her to lead him to his kingdom and help him save it from the evil blood sorcerer Reda knows she is way out of her realm. Will Reda be able to cope with this sexy vampire in time to save him and his kingdom or will she run home to grandma when his dangerous secret is revealed? Sexy, fast paced and intriguing, Lord of the Wolfyn was a great read start to finish. The story was well developed, keeping the reader glued to the pages by revealing little bits and pieces at a time. The romance and relationship between Reda and Dayn grew quickly but with a countdown of only four days time it wasn¿t unexpected, however this in no way made anything feel ¿left out¿ or ¿missing¿ and was seriously HOT. Reda was a strong heroine that I enjoyed reading about. Dayn was very romantic, much more so then his siblings so far, and made my heart go pitter-patter. J The beginning of the story was somewhat confusing with the timeline and the vortexes but as it continued I everything made sense. Lord of the Wolfyn was an easier read then the first two in the series, Lord of the Vampires and Lord of Rage, and the timeline wasn¿t as screwy either. I think that if this book was placed as the first or second in the series then The Royal House of Shdaows' story arc would have been more understandable and received a more positive response from readers. Lord of the Wolfyn is great read that I recommend, whether you¿ve read the other novels in this series or not. A sexy shape-shifter vampire and human cop thrown into a magical realm full of baddies, fun times all around!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Butterfly-o-Meter_Books More than 1 year ago
What a delightful way of spending the evening! Well, evenings more like, took me more then it usually does to read a Harlequin, but it's December, so, you know...stuff to do, things to get done, etc etc :D BUT, what a pleasure nonetheless! The third book in this series, Lord of Wolfyn introduces us the lovable Dayn, an irresistible prince (aren't they all? *sigh*) and the totally adorable Reda. Upon reading the story, I had a feeling of fairytale continuity, where book #2 of the series put a spin on The Story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, expanding and developing it into a gorgeous adult PNR, this book puts a spin on the story of Red Riding Hood, as well developing and expanding it into a fabulous adult PNR (and I like this spin a lot more then I did the movie Red Riding Hood this year), and the heroine's name being Red+a is suggestive enough. I loved the plot and how it developed, the pace if it, the chemistry between Dayn and Reda was awesome, but their relationship had backbone, it had substance, it felt very real and not at all rushed. Magic was in the air from page 1 to page 282, and there wasn't really any moment when I didn't feel it cradling me as I read; there was this charming atmosphere, the words worked like a charm together, the characters fit with each other and with the story, and they all fit with me like it was meant to be :D I had a ridiculous amount of fun while I read this book, and I will confess to enjoying it slightly more then I did book #2, and substantially more then I did book #1. And I just can't wait to get to the next, in a few days (December is going to be my month of spoiling myself with yummy reads :D yes, tis the season to be shameless xDDDD ). What I liked the most is in this book more then in the others, I felt as though I witnessed the characters grow, evolve, adapt to their new conditions, feelings and duties. Dayn and Reda evolved each on their own and as a couple as the story progresses, shedding layer upon layer of doubt, fear and hesitation and finally becoming a couple, a real couple. This relationship touched me more then others for some reason, and I feel like my soul is richer after reading about it, honestly. You know how there can be these random moments that just make you feel richer inside? Like looking out the window on a bright Sunday morning or feeling the swirl of flowery scents in the breeze of spring? This was like that, for me. So thank you, Jessica Andersen, for my moment of serendipity at 3 AM this morning (that's when I finished reading the book :p). If you haven't given this book a try, please do so if you like PNR, it's engaging, beautifully written, awesomely paced, and it's just beautiful. Beautiful.
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