One night out of all the centuries changed their lives forever...
Called to the scene of a double murder, Police Office Colton Killion finds that the vicious attack by vampires has not only decimated his family but the trauma from it transforms him into a rare ghost wolf. Now he's on a life-and-death mission to restore justice. The last thing he needs is a distraction—especially when it comes in the lithe, female form of Lycan Rosalind Kirk.
But Rosalind needs his help as much as he can't ignore his insatiable attraction to her. For that very attack also infused Rosalind with the spirit of a Banshee...and now Colton is the only being who can protect her from Others. When evil strikes again, Rosalind and Colton must risk everything by crossing a forbidden line…consequences be damned.
About the Author
Check out Linda's 2009 Nocturne Bites, Blackout and Wolf Bait, the first two novellas in a five-book werewolf series called Wolf Moons. It's all about humans morphing into other darker things...and finding love where it's least expected...in Miami.
Linda loves to hear from readers via her email; firstname.lastname@example.org
Read an Excerpt
Everyone had demons.
"Some species are just closer to them than others," Colton Killion muttered as he ran beneath the light of a huge Miami moon. For a werewolf like himself, the desire for what the moon offered fit into another category altogether. But now wasn't the time for beastly antics. He'd had an emergency call.
Drenched in moonlight, and in human form, he sprinted over a wide stretch of dirt and grass. The night air, filled with the scent of the ocean and a dozen kinds of Cuban food, burned his throat as he sucked in it, and left a warm sensation in his groin.
Running appealed to his animal nature.
At the moment, though, he couldn't afford to blow his cover. Two other cops were on his heels, running as fast as their human legs would take them. The radio on his shoulder kept repeating directions interspersed with static.
"Officer down. All units on the south side respond to the following address. 521 Baker."
The harsh words wouldn't have been half as bad without the address the dispatcher had given out. Damn if his family didn't live on the same street.
Colton lengthened his stride to reach an area of what in Miami passed for a forest of trees. Liquid moonlight had already begun to move through his veins as if he had injected it into an artery. The phantom sensation of an elongated muzzle made him reach up to check that it hadn't materialized yet.
Those cops behind him couldn't see that. There was no way they would understand having a Lycan in their midst, and that a searing, breath-robbing heat was spreading outward from deep inside his chest where a sleeping beast lay curled, craving the night, awaiting its freedom.
"Killion! Wait up!" Julias Davidson, the officer responsible for this beat yelled, the strain in the man's voice due to him being shamefully out of shape and having to run to the cruiser parked on the street.
Colton didn't care about the identity of the officer loping along in Davidson's wake. He was more concerned that Davidson, usually nosy as hell, hadn't asked why Colton had been passing through this way in the first place when he was officially off duty.
Good thing he hadn't been asked that question, since Colton didn't know the answer. He'd just acted on a feeling that something was up with this park and had dropped by for a look. Most of the time, he paid attention to those little sparks of intuition.
"Hell." In deference to the unanswerable why he was here, Colton found himself in a precarious state. With the muscles of his neck throbbing and the skin on his bare arms undulating like disturbed water in a pond, restraining his lupine abilities took every ounce of willpower he possessed.
The moon called to him, but there was also an officer down just two doors shy of his parents' house. And the sudden notoriety of an injured or, God forbid, dead police officer would be unwanted attention for a family like his that had a lot to hideand even more to lose, if they were identified as Lycan.
The whitewashed oath didn't satisfy him, or take the edge off his anxiety. "I've got a bad premonition about this dispatch to Baker Street," he whispered hoarsely. In fact, his gut told him he shouldn't wait for the others, and that he would get to the crime scene faster if he ditched the limiting human persona.
Too late now. He had company. Turning, he said to a breathless Davidson in a steady voice, "I'll go ahead," as Davidson hit the edge of the trees.
"On foot?" Davidson tossed back.
"I know a shortcut through the park."
"This park's dangerous enough with three of us out here."
"There hasn't been much real trouble since Scott, Wilson and the other boys cleaned it up last year," Colton said.
Key word there: Other boys. Capital O. There weren't many completely human bones left in the bodies of detectives Adam Scott and Matt Wilson, whose lives had radically changed after receiving rogue werewolf bites less than a year ago, and who now had their own secrets to keep.
"Yeah? Well, suit yourself, Killion," Davidson said. "Some bastard shot a cop, and we need to be there."
Without stopping for anything longer than two quick breaths, Davidson and his partner took off again. Colton watched them go, his own breath regulating now that he was about to be alone.
Or almost alone. That initial spark of intuition nagged at him again. The night had a strange feel to it that was thicker, denser than a normal night. It felt to him like too many unseen things moved through the dark, taking up space and crowding the atmosphere. Notable oddities like these seemed to hint at an unusual kind of energy massing on the park's periphery.
He could taste that wayward energy. The word to describe it was wild.
Raising his face to the moon, he absorbed the tingle of light on his skin, and sniffed the air. Most of the scents under the trees were familiar to him. He often worked this part of Miami.
He sniffed again and waited to make sure no intruders appeared, knowing that he had to let the moon have her way this time. He had to let the beast out because of his need to get somewhere fast. Werewolf speed was legendary and what he needed right now was to beat the other officers to the crime scene.
In order to beat Davidson and the others to the crime scene on Baker, Colton Killion, officer of the law, but also much more than his seemingly human appearance or profession, needed to morph into a creature that really wasn't an entity other than himself, but an integral part of him.
Not a metaphorical twin or the symptom of a split personality with an evil side, his beast was something he birthed by merely turning himself inside out to expose what lay beneath the surface of his skin.
All true Lycans, with pure, undiluted Lycan blood in them, were born to this. Lycanthropy, the oldest form of werewolfism, meant housing a rare blood disorder that predated history, escaped explanation and encompassed the strongest, fiercest of the beings falling under the heading of wulf.
Man-wolf hybrids. Not wolf, but wulf. Royal-blooded werewolves, able most of the time to blend in with human society in a world that had unknowingly absorbed them.
"Okay," he said with calm finality. "Bring it on."
Lupine euphoria hit before he finished the invitation. His body quivered with excitement. His core temperature rose in a lightning-fast ascent, reaching the level of "sizzling" before his next intake of air.
Claws popped from the ends of all ten of his fingertips like spring-loaded blades. Brief, swollen seconds of what felt like dark-dipped madness came and went, a throwback to a state people once called Lunacy. And then the process of a man becoming a werewolf took over.
Bones snapped. Ligaments stretched. The sound of hot, wet flesh tearing echoed in the night as his muscles redefined themselves. Colton's stomach knotted and clenched, doubling him over at the waist for a few more tense seconds as rich brown fur sprouted from his pores.
When he again stood upright, feeling inches taller than his usual six-two, and confined and claustrophobic in his clothes, he opened a mouth full of razor-sharp teeth and issued a low guttural growl that mimicked the sound of distant thunder, a sound that was both a response to the temporary pain of this shape-shift and a keen acknowledgment of being something other than one hundred percent human.
Following that, he belted out a harrowing, piercing howl that rolled through the park's vast emptiness with a feral quality that would have sufficed to make any animal's skin crawl, and was meant to do just that.
But as he gathered himself, ready to utilize the animal's agility and superior speed, Colton's senses suddenly jerked again to a state of full alertness. The feeling of not being alone made a comeback.
And then, out of the silver-coated darkness, came the surprise of an answering howl.
What the hell?
Had he missed something out there?
Colton's fur stood on end. He backed up a step, stunned as another howl followed the first. This one was higher in pitch than his own vocalization and no less menacing. But it was also tantalizing and seductive.
Colton glanced up, thinking that the moon must have been playing a trick. But a third sound came soon after the second, closer this time, and from ground level.
Haunting, preternatural, seductive in nature, this howl originated from the part of the park where he'd sensed strangeness but had seen no one. No human, anyway.
The wulf's immediate natural instinct was to find what had made that sound and mount it, instead of dashing off in the direction he needed to go. The animal's need to chase down whatever had made those wolfish sounds was so strong and insistent that Colton tightened his mental leash on the beast.
Despite the check of restraint that had him frozen to stillness, Colton's insides writhed with the new dilemma he faced due to hearing that answering howl. Should he hurry to Baker Street and see what had happened there, or take the time to find out who or what else roamed this park?
He and his beast weren't completely at odds over voting for the last one. It was, however, an unexpected trip in the agenda when timing might be critical.
Waiting out several more thunderous heartbeats, the blood inside his distended arteries began to burn. Judging by his arousal, he knew that the unexpected visitor was female.
Not just any female, either. Not with a voice like that. This was a she-wulfpowerful, practiced and pure Lycan, or he was a sorry son of a bitch who didn't know a Lycan from a hole in the ground.
Who are you?
Where did you come from?
He hadn't met many purebred female Lycanthropes.
The rarity of full-blooded she-wulfs was the reason true Lycans as a breed were slowly dying out. Females often weren't wired correctly for the transition from human to werewolf, and many of them didn't make it past the Blackout phase of their coming-of-age party for reasons no one actually knew. Special Lycan matchmakers traveled the world to find females to bring home to a qualified clan. He, himself, had been waiting ten years.
And what? One of those rarest of creatures has just announced her presence here in Miami, on the edge of this park? To me?
The acknowledgment of this possibility hit Colton with the force of an oncoming train. His wulf-heavy limbs shuddered. His teeth snapped together, filling his mouth with the acrid taste of his own blood. He grew hotter, and a little confused.
Hell, his human side wanted to chase after whatever had made those sounds as much as the beast did. Finding a She fulfilled a powerful need and provided a possible solution to a lot of problems of sheer physical necessity for a male. Keep the line going. Keep it strong. Choose a mate.
But damn the timing of finding this female. Not only did duty call, it also called with an overriding personal necessity that meant the possible welfare of his family. He had taken an oath to protect and serve not only the population of Miami but the few Lycans left in his scattered clan. Oaths were binding for werewolves, and lifelong.
In addition to that, he might know the cop who had been shot.
Shit. He visualized the scene. There would be officers, CSI techs and television crews all over the place, knocking on doors.
And a she-wulf appeared now?
Really bad timing. Effing bad.
Worse yet, his beast had already driven him to take a step toward the female's invitation, stretching at its leash.
Colton hauled himself back with difficulty and a barked chastisement. Can't have this. Get a freaking grip. There's too much at stake.
Good advice in the best of times, but the beast's needs were elemental and approaching the point of no return. It was hungry to bury its cock in that female's damp, furry, feminine folds, and angered by the restraint.
He had to get away, though leaving this spot would be one of the hardest things he had ever done. He had to ignore this she-wulf, knowing the odds of ever finding another one.
Resolutely, regretfully, he echoed the she-wulf's call with a low-pitched howl that could have been translated as: You have no idea how sorry I am for having to go. Though it actually meant so very much more than that, and perhaps even the extinction of his family's line.
Stepping out from under the trees, and filled with regret, Colton took off. Alone. Into the night. Toward the scent of a downed cop's blood in the distance.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I'm amazed at the world the author has created. There are many werewolf worlds by many authors. This one is unique with some new creatures that surprise even those in this world. Detective Colton Killian has found a heart-wrenching discovery while investigating a double murder. He has to keep his pain inside to protect his kind in the human world. Not only this painful experience but the call of a rare she-wolf draws him. He has to control the pull to her. When the vicious band of vampires attacks him he gets help from a surprising source. That night and battle change his life forever. Time will tell in what direction this change will take. Rosalind (that rare she-wolf) has spent her life hidden away from her kind. Now, she has escaped her father's over-protect care and found a male who draws her to him. The danger that keeps them apart will forever change him and their futures. Learning the secrets that have dictated her life bring fear and questions to their lives. This compelling story had me reading it in one sitting. I had to know how they would end up. There were so many possibilities. The imagination of the author amazes me. I can't wait to read more stories in this world.
I have only recently begun to read paranormal stories. It has been my pleasure to get acquainted with the books Linda Thomas-Sundstrom writes. She did not disappointment me with Wolf Born. From the very first chapter, I was caught in the story of intrigue and fast paced action. Lycan Rosalind Kirk with beautiful black fur and Colton Killion, a Miami police officer are brought together through fate and the brutal murder of Killion's parents. Even though their hearts are calling each other, Vampires and Others are trying to keep them apart. Each encounter with the Vampires and Others is uniquely written and fascinating. I frequently held my breath as I read the scenes. One theme portrayed throughout the book was the bond of family - the closeness Colton shared with his parents, that of Rosalind and her father, as well as Judge Landau's pack. It was moving to watch Colton realize he had been taken into the fold of Judge Landau's family and as such, he would receive protection. The entire family offered to assist Rosalind and Colton in their battle of the Vampires and Others, putting their lives on the line. Family and love is triumphant. ~~Dianne~~