Dark Wolf Returning (Bloodrunners Series #6)

Dark Wolf Returning (Bloodrunners Series #6)

by Rhyannon Byrd

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Dark Wolf Returning (Bloodrunners Series #6) by Rhyannon Byrd

When werewolf Eli Drake is banished from his pack, he leaves a devastated and heartbroken Carla Reyes behind. Three torturous years later, she tracks him down to a hole-in-the-wall Texas bar—the pack is in trouble and war is on the horizon. Carla needs Eli's help, but wants nothing more to do with him—even though he's as ruthless, domineering and sexy as ever…. 

Eli hasn't forgotten Carla. And the partial bite he gave her their last night together has had him lying awake nights imagining her sumptuous curves and supple lips. But Carla wants their bond broken, no matter the cost. Now, as they join forces, dare Eli hope that he can claim a future he never dreamed possible?

A Wolf Shifter Romance.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781460337172
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 08/01/2014
Series: Bloodrunners Series , #6
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 101,765
File size: 333 KB

About the Author

Rhyannon Byrd is a longtime fan of romance and the author of more than thirty paranormal and erotic titles. She has been nominated for three Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Awards, including best Shape-shifter Romance. After having spent years enjoying the glorious sunshine of the American South and Southwest, Rhyannon now lives in the beautiful, but often chilly county of Warwickshire in England with her husband and family. Visit her website at www.rhyannonbyrd.com.

Read an Excerpt

Eli Drake blinked his bleary eyes, unable to believe what he was seeing.

Shit. Had he drank so much he was hallucinating? If so, his pickled mind couldn't have come up with a more stunning, confounding vision. The hole-in-the-wall, small town Texas bar where he and his crew had landed for the night was a decent enough place to settle for a few hours while they tossed back some liquid therapy—and after the last assignment they'd taken, they'd definitely needed it. Hell, they could have drowned themselves in whiskey and beer for days on end, and it wouldn't have been enough to wipe out the horror of what they'd seen in that little South American village.

So, yeah, the woman who'd just walked into the bar had to be a by-product of his inebriation.

Only…as far as he could recall, he'd only had two whiskeys. For a man his size, even if he had been human, that wouldn't have been enough to make him start seeing…imagining… Damn it. He couldn't even get the words out within the privacy of his own mind.

Maybe it's a stress vision? I probably just need a break from my shitty day job.

Yeah, that was a better explanation than the alcohol, and extreme stress had been the riding theme of his life these past few weeks. Months. Years.

Squeezing his eyes shut, Eli focused on forcing the vision away. He didn't need crap like that screwing with his head. Sure, he was going to have to face her soon enough, considering he and his men were finally headed back to the mountains where he'd grown up, to his hometown of Shadow Peak, where the Silver-crest Lycans lived. But he wasn't ready for it now. Not tonight.

Facing Carla Reyes again after three years of banishment was something that would take battle armor and a heavy duty, steel-lined cup to protect his balls.

Fate, however, apparently didn't give a damn.

When the Lycan to his left softly swore under his breath, his deep voice rough with appreciation, Eli choked back a biting curse. Christ, he wasn't imagining things if others could see her, too. She was really there. In the flesh. Carla-Fucking-Reyes.

His next indrawn breath confirmed it, his dick hardening with ridiculous ease beneath the fly of his jeans. The soft, sleepy, feminine moan that followed made him look down, and he was momentarily surprised to find a woman straddling his lap, her face planted against his chest. He'd completely forgotten she was there, but then, it'd been a while since she'd spoken. He couldn't recall her name, but she wasn't in any shape to remind him. She was out cold, a line of drool slipping from the corner of her pink lips. Hmm… Classy chick.

With a jerk of his chin, he signaled Kyle Maddox, his second-in-command and the guy who'd spotted Carla, to deal with the comatose blonde. But it wasn't the woman on his lap that had Kyle's attention, his nostrils flaring as he pulled in the Runner's scent. Eli knew the moment his friend pegged her as a half-blood Lycan, his dark brows slowly rising on his forehead.

Eli gestured again to the blonde in his lap. "Take her."

Kyle snorted as he moved to his feet and lifted the woman into his arms. "And do what with her?"

Keeping his gaze locked on Carla, Eli said, "Just make sure she gets somewhere safe for the night. I don't want one of these assholes in here taking advantage of her."

"She's definitely a local girl, so I'll talk to the servers. Maybe one of them can take her home with them."

"Good," he muttered, impatient for Kyle to get the hell away from him before Carla reached the table.

"Just do it."

Carla had spotted him in the crowd and was headed his way, her gaze sliding toward the nearby group of Lycans standing at the bar—Sam, James, and Lev—who were watching her with unmistakable interest. Even Kyle, who had moved over to join them with the blonde in his arms, had his full attention focused on Carla. She looked exhausted, but gorgeous. At five-six, she was just tall enough that she didn't look like a child when standing beside a man of Eli's height, but was still…petite. Lithely muscled and battle-scarred, but somehow still incredibly feminine. Big brown eyes flecked with green and framed by thick lashes. Slim, delicate nose. Waves of thick, silky hair the colors of sunshine and honey and gold, the soft bangs falling across her brow. She was, quite simply, stunning. The most perfect, alluring, sensual female he'd ever known.

And, Jesus, that mouth of hers had always been his undoing. Full, sexy, sweet. Velvety and pink, like the petals of a flower. He wanted to devour her. Kiss her until he drew blood, which wasn't surprising. From the moment she'd hit adulthood, this little half-breed had always drawn the hunger of both the man and the beast inside him. A hunger that was as visceral and dark as it was insatiable. How he'd fought it for so many years, when he'd been living with the pack, he didn't know. He should have been given a damn medal for not falling on her like a rabid, sex-starved animal the instant she came of age—but he'd somehow kept himself under tight control, his fears for her safety the only thing that had a chance in hell of keeping him in line.

He'd been a goddamn saint when it came to Reyes…until that last week before his banishment.

As if they were some kind of penance for his sins, the memories of her from that week still woke him in the dead of night in a sweat, filled with an aching need that was primal, savage, and raw. So powerful he could taste it in the back of his throat. Here he was, three years later, and he still dreamt about her every night he didn't drink himself into a stupor.

Studying her expression, Eli wondered if she was about to make him pay for the carnal things that had happened that week. Is that why she'd tracked him down? To tell him she'd rather see him dead before letting him return to the pack? Because that was definitely hatred he could see burning in her beautiful, narrowed eyes.

Shoving his emotional reaction to her presence to the back of his mind, he focused instead on simply watching her…waiting. Eating up the sight of her in the tight jeans and T-shirt and battered hiking boots.

At a quick glance, you would never guess she was a hunter of deadly werewolves. Certainly, the clueless humans in the bar, who had no idea they had shape-shifters in their midst, would have never guessed she was both battle and weapons trained. The Silvercrest Lycans would be surprised to know that much of that training had come from Eli himself, since it'd been in secret. Every aspect of their complicated "friendship" had been private and secret and forbidden.

God, he'd been so drawn to her. Though he was older than her, she hadn't been a typical giddy twenty-two-year-old when their relationship had developed. She'd been sweet, but reserved. Eager for friends, and yet, wary to trust. But she'd trusted him. Past tense.

Eli had never told a soul about them, and he could only assume that Carla had done the same. Though not for the same reasons.

He moved to his feet when she reached the table, fighting the powerful urge to pull her into his arms, and the next thing he knew her tiny fist was launching toward his mouth. Whack! Damn, she'd hit him so hard it jerked his head back, the coppery taste of his blood instantly filling his mouth.

Softly laughing under his breath, Eli lifted his hand and wiped the blood from the corner of his lip as he brought his gaze back to hers.

"What the hell is so funny?" Her soft words vibrated with fury.

"Nothing," he murmured, thinking he'd come close to getting what he wanted. Someone's blood had been drawn, just not hers. And not in the way he'd hoped for.

Contempt clouded her expression. "You never could just give an honest answer to a question, could you?"

"Insults and accusations already?" he drawled, sliding back into his chair. The worst thing in the world he could do was let her know how the sight of her affected him, especially when he could feel his own angry frustration with fate and life and her blatant hatred building inside him, desperate for release. "That didn't take long."

She drew in a sharp breath at his snide tone, the skin around her eyes tightening as she took the seat across from him and asked a passing server for a Scotch. It was clear from the look on her face that she hadn't meant to launch into the topic of their past. She was irritated with herself that she had, and seemed determined to get to the point of this strange, unexpected visit. "You know about your dad?"

"That he's dead?" He lifted a hand, rubbing his stub-bled jaw. "Yeah, I heard about it."

As soon as the words left his mouth, a painful mix of emotions flashed through her eyes before she managed to bank them. "And you didn't think to come home?" she asked in a careful tone.

Brows drawn together, he tried to reason out why she thought the death of his psychotic father would herald his immediate return. Had the entire pack thought he would come crawling back the moment he learned that dear ol' daddy had staged a bloodthirsty coup that resulted in the death of the pack's entire governing body, the League of Elders? An attack that would have led to Stefan Drake's total control of the Silvercrest Lycans, if not for the help of the half-breeds his racist father had tried so hard to turn the pack against.

The League of Elders might have banished Eli for the unsanctioned kill he'd made on one of the rapists who'd attacked his sister three years ago…but they weren't the only reason he'd stayed away. Hell, they weren't even at the top of the list. No, his reasons for staying away had far more to do with… Well, with things he spent a lot of time trying not to think about. Things he was still trying to figure out how to deal with.

And every damn one of those things had to do with the woman sitting across from him.

Voice low, he finally responded to her question. "Once I heard that you and Eric and Elise were all right, I didn't see any reason to rush home. But I didn't plan on staying away forever, Rey. I was coming back."

"When?" she asked, as the server set her drink on the table.

"Now, if you can believe it. That's where we're headed."

"Bullshit." She gave a bitter laugh. "You know what I think? I think you were waiting for me to come to you. And here I am," she offered with a sharp smile, spreading her arms wide, and he couldn't help but notice the way the cotton shirt stretched tight across her mouthwatering breasts. Then she leaned forward, bracing her palms flat on the rickety little table with its scarred surface and dirty ashtray, and lowered her voice. "But I'm not here to beg for myself, Eli. I just need you and your ragtag little group to come back with me and do what you do best."

Hoping to rile her into hitting him again, like some kind of masochist—though he was pretty sure he just wanted to feel her hands on him—his lips curled in a cocky smirk. "You have no idea what I do best. You only got part of the show, if you'll recall."

"Not interested," she grunted in response to his silky, suggestive tone, before taking a drink of her Scotch. She winced as she swallowed the smoky alcohol, then wiped her mouth and shot his cocky expression right back at him. "And let's face it, Eli. The only thing you've ever done well is kill."

"Ouch, Reyes. If I didn't know better," he murmured, clucking his tongue, "I'd say you don't like me anymore."

She rolled her eyes. "Just get your band of Merry Men together and let's get out of here."

"Merry Men?" he snorted. "I'm no bloody Robin Hood."

She smirked. "Yeah, what was I thinking? The idea of giving something to the less fortunate is probably a little sappy for a guy like you."

"A guy like me?"

Lifting her brows, she said, "You know, the big bad mercenary who doesn't give a shit about anything or anyone, except for how much they can pay him. I hear you've cultivated the reputation well."

Irritation burned through his veins, not easy to hide. But he managed with a lazy grin and a slow drawl.

"You shouldn't believe everything you hear. A lot of men will lie when it suits them."

"Oh, God." She suddenly started to laugh so hard it made him scowl. Wiping the tears from her glittering eyes, she finally managed to splutter, "D-don't I know it."

Hell, he'd walked right into that one.

A fraction of his control began to slip, his hands flexing as he fought the urge to reach out and grab her, yanking her into his lap. "You're pushing it, Reyes."

Her laughter faded, and she kept her gaze on the Scotch as she swirled it in her glass. "If you're uncomfortable with my attitude or reactions," she murmured, "then I gotta tell you that I don't really care. I'm not here to make you feel better, or to talk about the past." She stopped swirling her drink, her dark gaze lifting, locking with his. "I'm here because your family needs you. You do recall that you have a brother and sister, right? And I can only imagine they have a hell of a lot to say to you right now, considering you haven't been returning their calls." She pushed back from the table and gave him a look that would probably scare a lot of men into doing whatever the hell she wanted them to. "Now get off your ass and let's get out of here."

"No," he rasped. "Not until you answer a few of my questions."

"Like we have the time," she started to argue, but he cut her off.

"We have as much time as we need, because I'm not going anywhere until you fucking spill." He took a deep swallow of his whiskey, and waited for her to bring her chair back to the table, before asking, "You came here alone?"

"Of course." At the look on his face, she said, "What? You thought someone needed to come with me and hold my hand?"

His jaw got tighter. "Why now?"

She glared back at him as if she couldn't understand what his problem was. "War isn't enough of a reason?"

"From what I've understood from Eric's messages, the Silvercrest have been in trouble for a while now."

"With no help from you, huh?"

He narrowed his eyes. "Like I said, I was planning to head back."

"Right. How kind of you."

"Why now, Reyes? Why you? You didn't rush out and try to track me down months ago, when this all started. So tell me the truth. Why— Now?"

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Dark Wolf Returning 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
tracier More than 1 year ago
He is the Wolf banished from his pack! She is the Bloodrunner that will bring him home!! Carla Reyes is a Bloodrunner born to a wolf shifter mother and a human father her kind has been looked down upon for centuries, but now like the changes in leadership so are the impressions of her and her fellow bloodrunners she fights beside. Eli Drake was forced to endure a lot beneath the hand of his sadistic father and pack leader to protect not only himself but those he loved. Eli was banished from his pack after he performed an unsanctioned kill on one of the men who attacked his sister, Elise. But his father is gone and now it's time for Carla to bring him home!! With the attacks on their pack increasing Eric needs his brother Eli to come home and bring his team with him. Carla knows she is the one who can find Eli even if she can't tell the others how. Eli and his men were finishing up some work and then they were heading to his home after he had received some messages from his brother. They stopped at a bar to release some tension when the one person that tied him in knots walked through the door. Carla spots Eli and everything comes flooding back but she pushes it down as she only has to bring Eli home and then she will end what he started before he left. Eli and his team will need to work closely with his brother and the bloodrunner to defeat an enemy they can't sense coming, and that will include Carla. Can he convince her of the truth and can he accept hers because if they can't it could cost them everything. Every now and then a series comes along that is so well written it starts pulling you in from the very first page and you find yourself invested in both the storyline and characters as if you were a part of their world. Bloodrunners by Rhyannon Byrd is that series for me.
ToryMichaels More than 1 year ago
Final book in the Dark Wolf mini series and just as good as the second (I'm not sure I ever finished the first one). I absolutely ADORED Carla and how she can (and does) kick some serious backside when the situation calls for it. Eli ... ahh, poor Eli. He really loved his family, just had the typical male inability to communicate and made assumptions that he shouldn't have. The two's incompletely formed bond made a different turn on the "soul mate" idea, and I enjoyed seeing whether or not they would actually finish it (well, of course they would, I knew that, but still...the author made you wonder just how it was gonna get pulled off). I totally believed in their relationship and the fact that they would stay together forever by the end. I also really liked Eli's growth into accepting Carla for all that she could offer, rather than continuing past the point of idiocy to "keep her safe". I liked seeing the Silvercrest pack deal with the Whiteclaws and other prospective enemies, along with the ongoing issue of the super drug that gave some wolves the ability to shift even during the day. Awesome book, glad to read it! Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great series
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: Dark Wolf Returning - Bloodrunners 6 Author: Rhyannon Byrd Published: 8-1-2014 Publisher: Harlequin Nocturne Pages: 301 Genre: Paranormal Romance Sub Genre: Shifters; Werewolves, Suspense ISBN: 9781460337172 ASIN: B00IWU49WK Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley Rating: 4 Stars . It has been three years since Eli Drake was banished by his pack, The Silvercrest Lycan Pack, for what is referred to as an unsanctioned revenge killing. To me it was deserved, he killed the man that raped his sister Elise. Now the Alpha, his father is dead and the his brother needs Eli and team of mercenaries to return to help defend the pack from the oncoming threat of Sabastian Claymore and the Whiteclaw Pack. When he doesn't give him an answer Carla Reyes the woman he left behind without explanation after beginning the mating ritual half done, knows she can track him down and get him to comeback. Arriving at a rundown Texas Bar she rips him a new one and giving him a punch in the face she convinces him to help the pack. She also lets him know she wants nothing else from him and plans to free herself from the bonding process they began three years before. Eli doesn't know if he can give up Carla, but she still refuses to believe him when he tells he had no choice if he was to keep those he loved safe, but to leave quietly and immediately. Can he finally convince Carla? Is it time to standup and fight not only the pack's enemies, but also for the woman he was destined to have as his mate? This is the last of the story of the Drake sibling books and ties up the loose ends and gives the reader to catch up with all the characters from previous books. You can enjoy the story of Carla and Eli resolving their issues, but to truly understand all the interactions and previous events mentioned fully I recommend reading the series in order. Carla is difficult to like as she refuses to even consider that Eli is telling the truth and that she is wrong to condemn him for his actions. I liked Eli and kept thinking he could do so much better. This book reads more like a wrap up rather than an independent story and for that reason I rated Dark Wolf Returns at 4 out of 5 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MOLLY1970 More than 1 year ago
Loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first Bloodrunner book that I have read, and I am not sure that I will continue with the series. The world - building was quite good, but the characters left me frustrated and the narrative was choppy. Carla Reyes was so ridiculously stubborn and blind that I almost came to hate her by the end of the book. Quite a few important scenes were told out of order, in flashbacks, such as Carla and Eli's early relationship, the mercenaries' raid on the enemy compound, and the whole day leading up to the final battle with the bad guys. And that battle was far too short and lacking in detail. There were parts of this story that I definitely enjoyed (the sex scenes were hot), but overall, I can't recommend it. Instead, I suggest readers look for paranormal romances by Thea Harrison, Cynthia Eden, and Zoe Archer. -- lyradora
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can't wait for more of this series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bluewillow1970 More than 1 year ago
Characters stay true throughout the series, completely in love with the blood runner series. I have devoured every book. I am hoping to read the story of the Irishman and his true love next, if the author writes it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Eli, we have waited a long time for his story. He's been the stranger that wasn't there. And, what a story it is! Rae is just the woman for him. I loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Full of tension and sass, this Bloodrunners novel will definitely be added at the top of my favoritrs list. Can't wait for Cian's story! Is it January yet?!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really good story with wonderful characters. I did think that she fought a little too much past the whole i don't trust you stage, especially when i thought they were finally working it out, but it all was good. Not quite sure about the Cian and Sayre connection as he seems like a jerk who can sleep with any female that breaths but won't allow her to be with another man. Icky double standard.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It kills me to say this because I loved the first 3 books (Mason, Jeremy, and Brody) but I have not liked the Dark Wolves as much and this book was just okay. Each one has gotten worse. I liked Eli but I really got tired of Carla's poor attitude and how she thought Eli was lying every time he opened his mouth. She was hostile throughout the book and then she just went Wham! and changed her attitude 180 degrees--not convincing at all. And the confrontation between the two packs was anti-climatic after lasting thru 6 books. There was also not much mention of the early characters that we had learned to love--no Torrance or Michaela, very little of the others. I am not looking forward to Cian's story now because I think Sayre is too young for him and I don't want to read about another couple that do nothing but fight. He was funny and charming in the previous books but not this one and I hope that is not how the next book is going to be. All in all, a disappointment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great read from Ms. Byrd. I love everything she has written. This maybe my favorite in the series. Highly recommend it. Can't wait for Cian n Sayre story in December 2014 :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would like to get my money back, nothing shows besides a blank page!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anuother amazing book....