Beneath a Rising Moon (Ripple Creek Werewolf Series #1)

Beneath a Rising Moon (Ripple Creek Werewolf Series #1)

by Keri Arthur

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Keri Arthur, the New York Times bestselling author of the Riley Jenson Guardian series, takes readers to the werewolf reservation of Ripple Creek—where moon fever runs high and a savage murderer runs rampant.
There’s no turning back for Neva Grant. To find a killer, she must seduce the boldest male in the Sinclair pack. Her twin sister lies in a hospital bed, fighting for her life, the fourth and only surviving victim of a vicious attacker. The werewolf rangers suspect the Sinclair pack, and the only way Neva can infiltrate their close-knit ranks is to unleash the wildness within and offer herself to Duncan Sinclair.
Duncan’s appetite for women is legendary on the reservation. But when this new woman stirs his hunger, he finds his desire for her goes deeper than anything he’s ever felt before. When he realizes that she’s playing a game and he’s taken the bait, he is determined to push her to the breaking point. As Duncan and Neva engage in a dangerous dance, they must somehow find a way to join forces—before a cornered killer bites back.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780440246497
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/31/2012
Series: Ripple Creek Werewolf Series , #1
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 370,530
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.96(h) x 1.03(d)

About the Author

Keri Arthur, author of the New York Times bestselling Riley Jenson Guardian series, has now written more than twenty-five books. She’s received several nominations in the Best Contemporary Paranormal category of the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Awards and recently won RT’s Career Achievement Award for urban fantasy. She lives with her daughter in Melbourne, Australia.

Read an Excerpt

THE MUSIC SWIRLED through the darkness, its beat rich and seductive. Night cloaked the ballroom—a mantle challenged only by the occasional flicker of a torch burning high on the rough-hewn stone walls. On the dance floor, couples swayed to the music, their bodies so close they almost seemed to be one. Heat and sweat mingled with the growing odor of lust and need—scents that stirred her senses, made her hunger.
Neva Grant looked uneasily over her shoulder. Though the moon was masked beneath the clouds that crowded the night sky, she could feel its presence. Feel its power.
The full moon was too close. She shouldn’t be here. She shouldn’t be doing this when the wildness within was so close to the surface.
But she’d made her promises, and she intended to see them through—no matter what the cost.
She let her gaze roam the dance floor again. Somewhere down there, a killer lurked. A man who was using this secluded, exotic retreat as his own private hunting ground.
A man she had every intention of finding. And slaying.
She raised her glass and finished the last of her wine. The alcohol slithered warmth through her body, and perspiration beaded her skin. Hunger rose, flashing white-hot through her veins. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath.
Not tonight. Please, not tonight.
But the pulsing need suggested it was already too late for such prayers. The wildness had woken. It would not remain leashed for long.
Maybe she shouldn’t even bother trying. The killer seemed to be choosing the more adventurous of this wanton crowd. Unleashing the wildness might be the quickest way of attracting his attention.
Bile rose up her throat and she swallowed heavily. While she had no real choice about what she had to do tonight, she wasn’t about to give the wolf within free rein. She wasn’t like any of the hunters who danced on the floor below. Her world was one of sunshine and restraint, of trying to live normally.
These people rejoiced in the night and the power of the moon. They came to this mansion for the freedom and the safety it offered, seeking to sate the moon-spun lust surging through their veins. That was why most of the men were naked, and why most of the women wore little more than wisps of material that covered everything yet left nothing to the imagination. Only their faces were concealed. Once the moon’s spell had faded and daylight returned, they would return to their packs, picking up their lives where they’d left off, not knowing the faces of any of those they’d chosen to mate with.
Unlike her pack, these wolves were free spirits, exhilarated by the thrill of the chase, by the excitement of capture and possession. The belief in one mate, one life partner, had never touched these dark halls.
But for her promise, she would not be here tonight.
She put aside her glass, then adjusted her ornate mask and made her way down the stairs. The deeper shadows that lined the walls were filled with hunters in various stages of mating. She forced her gaze away even though the wildness within yearned to watch. Hungered to join them.
Her stomach turned again. God, she hated this place. Hated everything it represented. Given the choice, she’d rather burn the Sinclair estate to the ground than be walking its halls. She wasn’t a prude; far from it. She’d given in to the power of the moon more than once herself. But if it wasn’t for this place, if it wasn’t for the wanton and careless behavior of its guests, her twin sister would not now be lying in the hospital, so close to death.
Tears stung her eyes, and she took a deep breath. Don’t think. Just do.
She moved onto the dance floor, inching her way past the slowly dancing couples. Her pulse throbbed in time to the music’s heavy beat, and the deep-down ache grew stronger.
She clenched her fists and made her way toward the rear exit. She’d spent most of her adult life fighting the worst of her desires, and she would not give in now. Not even here in this place of dark freedom.
And yet, at the same time, she knew she’d do whatever she had to—even unleashing the wildness—if it led her to the man who had attacked her twin.
She’d studied the files in Savannah’s office before she’d come down here this evening. The killer had struck three times—each time near dawn and just beyond the boundaries of the Sinclair mansion. The victims were always alone, though forensics had, not surprisingly, found evidence to suggest each victim had taken more than half a dozen lovers the night of their deaths. Savannah and the other werewolf rangers who patrolled the Ripple Creek Reservation—which was the mountain homeland of the four Colorado wolf packs—believed that the killer was shadowing his victims as they left the mansion, and attacking once they were clear. But they had no proof of this—nothing more than scents and suspicions. And neither of those were admissible in court, be it human or werewolf.
Savannah had been following one such scent when she’d been attacked by a silver wolf. Only the fact that she’d been in wolf form herself had saved her. The winter coat of their tribe was thick, and the silver wolf had been unable to gain a true grip around her sister’s throat. But even so, her wounds were multiple and life threatening.
And Neva had shared the last, terrifying moments of her twin’s horror. While she never wanted to go through something like that again, in the end it was the link between them that had saved Savannah. Her sister had siphoned Neva’s stronger psychic abilities and used them to finally fend off her attacker.
Neva closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Even now, her sister’s pain edged Neva’s consciousness. When she’d left home this evening, the doctors still weren’t sure if Savannah would survive. Even she couldn’t say with any degree of certainty. Savannah was hanging on by the slenderest of threads, and it wouldn’t take much to snatch that lifeline away.
Which was why Neva had touched her twin’s unresponsive mind and made a silent vow: she’d hunt down the killer and finish what her sister had started if Savannah found the strength to live.
It may have been foolish, but it was better than sitting at home, waiting for the worst.
But unlike Savannah, she was no ranger. Far from it. She had no idea how to load a weapon, let alone shoot, and she only had a wolf’s natural skills when it came to tracking. But she was still far from defenseless. Like most of the wolves of her tribe, she rated high in telepathy, but she was also almost off the scale empathically. The two abilities combined could be a deadly weapon if one knew how to use them properly—as the wolf who’d attacked Savannah had learned.
So far, Neva had kept her shields up tonight. Skimming the minds of hunters when the moon bloomed was far too dangerous and would attract the kind of sexual interest she was trying to avoid. Besides, she might just alert the killer she was here, seeking him.
The rangers believed it was probably one of the Sinclairs behind the killings, but they were a large and closemouthed pack and had yet to provide the rangers with any real help. And while the Sinclairs were all silver wolves, like the one who had attacked her sister, they did not have a monopoly on the color. Even in her own pack, which were primarily golden-coated, silver could be found.
No, she’d never find the killer roaming the outskirts of the Sinclair stronghold. It was doubtful if even the rangers could. It had to be done from within. And there was only one way she could achieve that. Goose bumps skated across her skin, and she sent a silent prayer to the moon for strength.
She’d spent a good part of the day studying the Sinclair lineage. The wolf she’d chosen to seduce was the pack leader’s third son. By all accounts, he was the wildest of them all, but he was the only one who’d been away from home when the first two murders had occurred. So he was safe—or as safe as any of the Sinclairs could be.
She’d also spent time studying the mansion’s floor plans before coming here, and she had talked to Betise, a regular customer at her family’s diner. Though barely thirty-six, Betise had been attending moon dances at the mansion for a good twenty years and knew the place almost as well as the Sinclairs themselves. It had been Betise who told her that Duncan Sinclair rarely joined the dance before midnight, and that before then he could usually be found close to his rooms on the west side of the mansion.
Of course, he’d been away for ten years, and anybody—even the wildest of the wild—could change in that amount of time. But for her sister’s sake she had to hope that wasn’t the case.
She hurried out the rear doors. The night breeze stirred her flimsy skirt. Its touch was cool against the fever-kissed skin of her thighs. She glanced skyward again, judging the time by the position of a moon she could feel, not see. Close to midnight. She had to hurry. She tugged the delicate material clear of her bare feet and ran to the back of the mansion.
A cherub-filled fountain came into sight. She slowed, scanning the windows until she found his. Her heart was beating so fast it felt as if it would tear free of her chest, and she knew the cause was fear, not exertion. She’d never done anything like this before. She didn’t know if she even had what it took to attract, let alone hold, a wolf with Duncan Sinclair’s experience.
But she had to try. It was the safest way to gain full access to the mansion.

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Beneath a Rising Moon (Ripple Creek Werewolf Series #1) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the Ripple Creek Wolf series years ago. They were written before her other two series. Are these just new covers placed on the first edition amd remarkeded as a "New" series? I suspect they are. I love my Nook but I am getting tired of lesser known works of authors being republished as new and short stories from compilations being renamed and sold for $2.99 or $3.99. Nothing ticks me of more than buying an Ebook I already own in print! So very sneaky to not list original publish dates in description to at least give us clue because we sure know we won't get a refund! I have been a Keri Arthur fan since the first Ripple Creek story and am happy to rec her works. Her books are fun, sexy, action packed, mystery filled and Arthur keeps you guessing who the killer may be until the last pages. I just don't care for the publishers misrepresenting old works as new just because they re available on Epub. If I wat to reread a favorite author's work, then I pull it from my library (actual books on shelf library) instead of wasting $7 to have it in epub.
Guest More than 1 year ago
5 Stars for Keri's books is not enough in my mind. Her books keep on getting better and better this one had me up most of the night because I did not want to leave the story until I had read the final page, then kept me up for while thinking about it. Set on a Werewolf reservation of Ripple Creek woman are being brutaly murdered on thats critical is Neva's Sister Savanna a Ranger for the reservation. The clues and evidence lead the the hedonistic clan of the Silverback. Duncan has been asked to come home to find the killer after much distrust betrayal and tense moments Neva and Duncan find peace and love.
earthmotherNG More than 1 year ago
When I requested this book, I had no idea that it was a revised edition of an early Keri Arthur work; but I enjoyed it quite a bit. It had an excellent murder mystery plot as well as a very interesting look at werewolves Keri Arthur style. It reminded me of the better parts of Riley Jensen; but Neva, the h of this one, was not the brainless, sex-obsessed slut that Riley was. I can see where much of the background of the “Riley Jensen” series came from, though. This book had many ideas that showed up in Arthur’s later works. Neva actually reminds me much more of Risa Jones from the “Dark Angels” books; a series which I have greatly enjoyed. Neva’s twin sister Savannah is the head of the Werewolf Rangers who have been investigating a series of grisly were murders. Savannah herself has been attacked, and is in the hospital. Neva has taken it upon herself to find out what has happened to her sister. Since the murders are happening around the mansion of the Alpha of the Sinclair pack; Neva takes herself up there during the full moon when the ‘dance’ is going on; which is basically a werewolf orgy. Since her sister suspects that the murderer is one of the sons of the pack leader; Neva seduces the middle son, Duncan, to try to find out what is going on. Unknown to her, Duncan is also investigating the murders. He decides he wants to ‘dance’ privately with her during the full moon phase and take no other sex partners. They come together as lovers, then develop an uneasy trust as partners investigating the murders. Very impressive early work, I can see why it is being revamped for a new release. Well worth the read, and there is a lot of meat to this story. The next book Beneath a Darkening Moon, is about Neva’s sister Savannah. ARC provided by NetGalley
Chrisee More than 1 year ago
This is not Riley Jensen but Keri Arthur has a way of making her characters come to life. Many characters are likeable even the ones who are evil.... Very good read. I wish it wasn't 7.99. I read so much that spending that much for each book can be costly. I haven't decided if I want to purchase the second book although I really want to read it. I am sure in a moment of weakness I will give in. Try this series out.
Gator1313 More than 1 year ago
Keri Arthur knocks it out of the park again with another riveting series that delves into the realm of the supernatural.... I can honestly say I have not read one bad book by this author.... as an aspiring writer myself, this is the type of writing that I would strive to create. Vivid and compelling, the words jump off of the page and create a beautiful world in your mind.... Keri Arthur is a sure thing!!!
LilyElementBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Neva Grant is a werewolf on a mission. Her twin sister, Savannah was one of the women attacked by a crazed killer, but unlike the others she is still alive. Neva's plan is to continue her sister's detective work and find out who is behind the murders. She goes into the Sinclair mansion while they are having a dance (where werewolves go to find a partner) and is determined to dance with Duncan Sinclair so she can gain access to the mansion. Neva's plan works, but the attacks continue happening and Duncan is suspicious of her motives. Neva and Duncan want the same thing, to figure out who is behind the murders. I wasn't sure if they would work well together, but they proved me wrong and worked as a great team. Beneath a Rising Moon has the whole Romeo and Juliette vibe going on. Neva's father is against the dance and only believes that wolves should have relations with their soul mate. Duncan is a former playboy and used to have a different dance partner at every turn. The relationship between Neva and Duncan started off on a purely sexual basis then slowly morphed to a sweet romance. Duncan's suspicion of Neva causes distrust in both parties. I found myself rooting for their relationship since it seemed they had so much against them. I recommend this book if you enjoy paranormal books that have a who-dun-it aspect.
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Going to read nex book I like this author
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If you like her Riley Jenson series, you will enjoy this spin off. Trust me.
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One of the better stories I have read in a while.
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JennaLynne_Betweenthebind More than 1 year ago
More like 4.5 Stars but leaning towards 5... *(Very Minor) Spoilers* Beneath a Rising Moon is a delicious tale of a sister seeking revenge by stepping outside of her carefully controlled life and into the pits of a life altering desire. Neva has seldom given into her desires as a young wolf, being reared in a home that prides itself on commitment and control, but that doesn't mean she hasn't wanted to. Heading into the midst of the moon dance and opening herself to her wolf, she plans to seduce Duncan Sinclair, the rebel badboy and only wolf not under suspicion for murdering several of the Sinclair pack's moon mates. Duncan Sinclair had thought to leave this life behind 10 years ago, but with murders littering the Sinclair grounds and his family under severe scrutiny from the Rangers (werewolf police force) he has returned to uncover who is behind these acts and will do anything to protect his pack. Being seduced during the moon phase wasn't in his plan but he plans to make use of the lovely little wolf intent on spying on the Sinclair family - and enjoy every minute of it. I connected with Neva right away, her determination and overwhelming strength in her belief that she would do anything to find who put her twin sister in a coma gave her an almost immediate like-ability. Although most definitely not a detective, Neva uses her instincts to guide her as safely as possible through the forbidden Sinclair mansion, picking the safest member she could to give her an excuse to navigate the forbidden parties and incorrigible Sinclair pack. But Duncan quickly discovers that Neva is there for more than just the moon party and begins breaking this new wolf to find out what she knows about the murderer. Both characters were easy to like and even when Duncan was being an ass-hat I still understood why (and enjoyed his sexy torture!). The development of the storyline was very well done, I never felt lost and always understood why something was happening. The only reason why this book isn't a 5 Star read was because of the resolution to the mystery. I am not going to give anything away, I just wasn't quite satisfied. That and a couple of repeat sections that seemed a little copy-and-pasted to me. That being said, you should most definitely buy this beauty - and the next one too while your at it! ;) I can't wait to read Beneath a Darkening Moon and learn more about Neva's twin sister Savannah and her love affairs. So much about Savannah was presented in this book and left unresolved so I am looking forward to uncovering Savannah's past and *maybe* getting a cameo from Neva and Duncan...please?! :) Overall, Keri Arthur builds a beautiful world spun with betrayal, trust, pack and growth, encouraging readers to be swept up with emotion and unable to detangle themselves from the painful mystery of love, loss, and forgiveness. **This book was provided to me via NetGalley by Random House Publishing Group in return for an honest review.** You can read this review in its entirety on my blog - Betweenthebind [dot] blogspot [dot] com.
Falln2books More than 1 year ago
Beneath a Rising Moon is an excellent start to a new series.The characters are complex and interesting. The plot has a lot of depth and is intriguing. My only two complaints about this novel are that the mystery wasn't that mysterious. I had it figured out when I was about 50% through the book. Also, at times Duncan was a giant ass, and I don't think that it was really illustrated how not okay some of the things he did were. Basically, if you're looking for a story with a strong, independent heroine, this is not a book for you. But if you're looking for a romance with political undertones, then you have found the right book. This series is set in Colorado, and is about werewolves who live on a reservation, much like American Indians do today. However, the wolves on these reservations also have to undergo a bit of forced birth control. Once a month, the men must take a sterilization vaccine before participating in the "moon dance," which is the mating practice of the wolves. It obviously occurs on the full moon, like most werewolf things do. The cool thing about this whole werewolf reservation situation is that Arthur doesn't attempt to capitalize off of indigenous rights issues. She doesn't offer any comparisons, and she does not once talk about what she may or may not understand. She avoids the American Indian reservation system all together. Also, I do not feel that she was making light of the wrongs done to American Indians. She shows the werewolf reservation for what it was. There is always an undercurrent of oppression because of the reservation system, though. Also, this story shows the dangers of extremely conservative viewpoints and how they can do irreparable harm to those around you. Another topic touched on is conservative hypocrisy. While I really enjoyed the political and moral elements to this story, there were times when I really did not like Duncan very much. He had a habit of forcing things on Neva, with or without her knowing and/or permission. I don't really mean sex (the mating ritual is very complex in this werewolf society), but there is a certain point when he does something that I would not be okay with, and she is perfectly fine with it. She doesn't even seem to notice the problem. However, part of her "growth" is supposed to come from her making her own decisions and learning to think for herself. She is supposed to be able to stand up for herself and what she wants by the end of the novel, but because this issue wasn't addressed in the manner I felt it should have been, I feel as if she is still co-dependent and a bit weak. Others may see it differently, but there was one part that just really did not set well with me. My problems with a couple of the plot points aside, I really did enjoy this book. The characters are complex and three dimensional. They are flawed and realistic. I was able to both love and hate most of them. I felt bad for them when they suffered, and I was happy for them when something good happened. I fully connected with the primary and secondary characters of this novel. Furthermore. I enjoyed learning about the new world Arthur has created. It's a unique idea and one that I look forward to explore more thoroughly in the following installments. Additionally, the romance was super hot! The chemistry between Neva and Duncan was off the charts. In all, I'd recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a romance story with some substance.
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