For years, everyone believed Sylvie LaForge Dubois was dead, and she worked hard to keep it that way. Now that her abusive, dangerous mate is dead, she’s come back to face everyone. But it’s harder than she thought it would be, especially when Gator Rollins watches her every move, making her uneasy and excited all at once. She never imagined she’d want another man, but her attraction to Gator is too strong to fight.
Before Gator had the chance to tell Sylvie how he felt about her, she was mated to someone else and then killed. Now she’s back, and there’s nothing he won’t do to protect her and get that second chance he never thought he’d have.
But Sylvie is in more danger than ever when her old pack learns she’s still alive And if they get to her, there’s no coming back from the dead twice.
Each book in the Salvation Pack series is a standalone story that can be enjoyed in any order.
Book #1 Wolf at the Door
Book #2 Wolf in her Bed
Book #3 Wolf on the Run
Book #4 Wolf from the Past
Book #5 Wolf on the Hunt
Book #6 Wolf on a Mission
Book #7 Wolf in his Heart
About the Author
Once upon a time N.J. had the idea that she would like to quit her job at the bookstore, sell everything she owned, leave her hometown, and write romance novels in a place where no one knew her. And she did. Two years later, she went back to the bookstore and her hometown and settled in for another seven years. One day she gave notice at her job on a Friday morning. On Sunday afternoon, she received a tentative acceptance for her first romance novel and life would never be the same.
N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.
Read an Excerpt
Gator Rollins sprawled across the large flat stone with his hands tucked behind his head and soaked in the hot rays of the midday sun beaming down on his naked body. Summer had finally come to North Carolina. And while it wasn't anywhere near the sultry heat of Louisiana where he'd been born and raised, it was something to be savored after the long winter and chilly spring.
A bead of sweat rolled down his shoulder and he sighed. He didn't miss much about Louisiana, but the humid heat of the bayou was one of the few things he did.
Not that their new home wasn't beautiful in its own way. The rolling mountains and thick forests were majestic and enduring. He'd done the right thing following Jacque LaForge and the others here, breaking away from the pack they'd been a part of and starting anew.
They'd arrived here five bitter and angry men. They'd thrown themselves physically into building shelter. Over time, the anger and bitterness had faded, replaced by a sense of purpose and place. Now, a few years later, they hadn't only built houses, but a home.
He didn't miss the infighting of his old pack, the constant need to stay alert against attack, not from outsiders, but from one another. He didn't even miss his family all that much. The older he'd gotten, the more distant he'd grown from his parents, both of whom were still alive. He'd lost a younger brother six years ago when the fool had gotten into a fight with an older, more experienced wolf over a woman. As far as Gator knew, his older brother, Alain, was still alive, but he didn't miss the mean bastard.
Gator sat up and squinted against the sun's glare as his eyes adjusted. He didn't want to go down memory lane. Although not all the memories were bad. He'd enjoyed his childhood, running free in the swamp and woods. His père had taught him how to hunt and fish both as a human and a wolf. His mama had brought joy into all their lives with her love of music and good cooking. His brothers had made his life hell, the way brothers were supposed to. But he hadn't been all that close to his siblings.
He'd never felt as though he belonged in the pack. Gator hadn't wanted to become one of Pierre LaForge's assassins and had spent as much time by himself as possible. Luckily, he'd made several good friends. He might not have survived without them. Pack life was hard at best. Pack life as a loner was an almost guaranteed death sentence, at least in the Louisiana Pack.
He inhaled deeply and sorted through the various smells coming to him on the slight breeze. The tangy scent of pine, the slightly rotten smell of leaves decaying in the shade of the big trees, a mouse, two squirrels and various birds all in the surrounding area. Nothing out of the ordinary.
He knew he should get his lazy ass back on patrol, but he needed a few more minutes to simply sit and enjoy the heat. His best buddy, Cole Blanchard, would give him a hard time about sunbathing if he found out Gator had lolled away part of the morning. It was a chance Gator was willing to take. He didn't think Cole would be out patrolling unless he had to, not with his mate, Cherise, at home with him.
Gator swore under his breath and hauled himself to his feet. Three of his pack members had found their mates. Only he and Louis remained single. Not that he begrudged the others their happiness. He didn't. It hadn't come easy to any of them. There was still a price on all their heads from their former pack.
He growled deep in his throat and embraced the change, welcoming his wolf. His arms and legs contorted and reformed. He fell forward until he was resting on four paws. His jawline lengthened and his nose became a snout. Skin was replaced with black fur. In the blink of an eye, he went from man to beast.
The massive wolf peered out over the land. Their land. All of it belonged to the Salvation Pack, and he'd protect it and its inhabitants with his life. Restless once again, Gator trotted down a well-worn path and wound his way through the trees. He jumped over several downed ones and made a mental note to tell Cole about them. His friend made beautiful furniture and household items out of wood and tried to source most of it from fallen trees on their land.
It was as natural to Gator as breathing to continually sort through all the sights, sounds and smells around him, always on the lookout for something out of the ordinary. There had been no attacks from the Louisiana Pack for months now, and that was making him uneasy. Pierre LaForge, his former alpha, wasn't exactly known for his kind and forgiving nature.
Gator snorted. What an understatement. Pierre wouldn't be satisfied until all of them were dead. Okay, maybe not all of them. He might let one or both of his sons live. Or maybe not. Both Jacque and Louis had defied the old man when they'd struck out on their own. Pierre might kill both his sons and Jacque's mate to drive home the fact that no one left the pack without permission.
He shook off his depressing thoughts and turned toward home. The day was too nice to worry about Pierre and his assassins. The cowards would show themselves when they were good and ready. Gator and his packmates had beaten back all attacks up until now, and they'd do so again. They'd built something worth protecting here.
His stomach growled, reminding him it was nearing lunchtime and he hadn't eaten anything since breakfast. Shifting took a lot of energy. Werewolf metabolism naturally ran faster than humans, and they required a lot more calories just to live. Add into that the fact that he'd been patrolling pack land for hours and he was one hungry wolf.
Armand's mate had been up early making bread when he'd left early this morning. Anny was an amazing baker. Gator could practically taste the fresh bread. Maybe he'd make turkey sandwiches for lunch, something quick and easy. There was leftover turkey in the refrigerator, unless one of the others had eaten it as a snack this morning, which was a distinct possibility.
Usually, he liked to cook. It relaxed him and he enjoyed the process. There was something satisfying about taking basic ingredients and turning them into something special. Some days though, he was too impatient to wait. This was one of those days.
He was nearing the log home he shared with two of his packmates and their mates when his ears caught a sound. He stopped and swiveled his head from side-to-side. A car. Not too far from here.
Gator automatically headed in the direction of the unknown vehicle. It didn't overly alarm him. An attack from the Louisiana Pack wouldn't come by car or truck. No, they'd come with stealth and strike when they were least expected.
Maybe a local had decided to try hunting on their land even though it was heavily posted with No Trespassing signs. Maybe it was some lost tourist. Or maybe it was another damn delivery truck. The women did like to shop online. Usually the packages were delivered to their post office box in town, but sometimes the occasional item was put on the local postal truck and brought out to the house. Gator suspected it wasn't a mistake, that the locals had gotten curious enough about them and wanted to check them out in person.
Either way, he needed to know who it was and what business they had on pack land.
Gator loped through the trees, winding through them easily even while running at top speed. The pack would be aware of the intruder. The sensors on their road would have gone off the moment the car turned off the main highway. He was closer and hoped to have the situation handled before the others arrived. No need to get everybody riled up, especially not before lunch. Bad for the digestion.
He came to a halt by the silver birch where he'd stripped off his jeans. Now that they had women living in the pack, he couldn't just leave the house naked when he was patrolling. It was a bit of a pain, but it wasn't too much of an inconvenience. And it paid off at times like this. He couldn't exactly greet a lost tourist or delivery truck driver totally naked.
Well, he could, but that might prompt a visit from the local sheriff.
Gator shifted, embracing his human form once again. The wolf retreated, knowing Gator would let him out again later. His wolf did love to run. He grabbed his jeans and yanked them on. The car was getting closer now. He knew it was a car from the way it sounded. Not heavy enough to be a truck.
The vehicle came to a stop just as he stepped out onto the dirt road. With the sun shining on the windshield, it was impossible for him to see if the driver was male or female.
He swore and quickly moved position. That was the kind of mistake he rarely made, but it was one that could get him killed. With the sun no longer blinding him, Gator focused his gaze on the driver. There was only one person in the vehicle and it was a female.
Had to be a lost tourist. There was no reason for any unknown woman to be all the way out here.
She opened the door and stepped out of the vehicle, turning slightly away from him as she did. Gator stopped breathing.
Standing before him was a dead woman.
"Hello, Gator." Her voice washed over him like a silken caress. A shiver went down his spine as a ghost from the past spoke to him.
She was still standing behind the car door, both hands wrapped around the top of the frame. Her knuckles were white and he could smell her fear, her nervousness.
But beneath it all was a scent he knew far too well, a scent he'd dreamed about for years even when she was mated to another. His eyes might deceive him but his nose wouldn't.
He swallowed hard and took a step forward. Her silky black hair was pulled back in a braid that fell almost to her waist. She was wearing a plain cotton blouse in stark white. The garment was sleeveless and left her toned arms bare.
He took another step forward. If he reached out his hand, he could touch her. "Look at me." His voice was harsh, his command terse. She flinched slightly but then squared her shoulders and fixed her gaze directly on him.
Gator began to growl as fury shook him to his core. A jagged white scar bisected her right cheek. It was an old wound but had to have been an extremely bad one for it not to have completely healed. Werewolves had superior healing skills.
He extended his hand slowly, like he would do with a skittish wild animal, making no sudden movements. He could smell her fear, no matter how much she tried to hide it.
She swallowed heavily and her pupils dilated, but she didn't move when he brushed his fingers over the thick scar. "It really is you." Merde. He couldn't wrap his brain around this new reality. He rubbed his thumb over the curve of her jaw. Her brown eyes stared back at him, pleading for something, but he didn't know what she wanted.
Of all the things that could have happened today, this was one scenario he could never have imagined. As quickly as the sense of wonder and a spark of joy filled him, it was snuffed out by reality. Gator dropped his hand back down by his side.
"How could you have done this to your brother?" How could you do this to me was what he really wanted to scream. That wouldn't have made any sense at all to her. She had no idea what he'd felt for her all those years ago. Why would she? He'd never told her. Now it was too late. For both of them.
He wanted to pull her into his arms and taste her lush lips. He wanted to kiss her scar and soothe all her hurts. But mostly he wanted to strip her naked, take her to the ground and feel her body under his as he fucked her. And that wasn't going to happen. She looked like she'd scream if he made any kind of move.
Frustration ate at his guts and frayed his temper. "Got nothing to say?"
"I —" She broke off and shook her head. She released her death grip on window frame of the car and wrapped her arms around herself. She looked fragile and he had to harden his heart to keep from reaching for her. His arms ached to hold her. His soul yearned for hers. And inside him, his wolf howled.
He wanted to promise to protect her, to tell her everything would be okay. And that would be a lie. Everything wasn't okay. Not by a long shot.
"I had no choice." She bit her bottom lip and Gator nearly lost it when her teeth teased the plump flesh. His cock sprang to life. The damn thing had a mind of its own. He might be hurt and angry. He might be suspicious and wary. But he still wanted her.
"Why?" He had to know.
Sylvie LaForge Dubois knew coming back from the dead wouldn't be easy, but she'd had no idea it would hurt quite so much. Gator Rollins stood before her, looking as menacing and dangerously handsome as he always had. How many times had she fantasized about him when she was younger? Back when she still allowed herself to have dreams.
Tattoos of stylized wolves and other abstract designs covered his muscled arms from wrist to shoulder. Most werewolves didn't have tats. Since they healed quickly, special ink was needed to create the designs, and it was a painful process. One that had to be repeated several times until the markings would stay on the wolf's skin even when shifted. They were hidden beneath the animal's fur, but they were still there.
She wanted to touch them and curled her fingers into her palms to keep from reaching out to him. She didn't think he'd appreciate her touch right about now. He seemed withdrawn. Suspicious.
When she'd first stepped out of the car, he'd seemed shocked, maybe even happy to see her. But that was probably just wishful thinking on her part. She knew she was more than happy to see him. She wanted to throw herself into his arms but didn't dare. The last thing she wanted to do was to give him a chance to reject her. Then there was the small problem she had allowing anyone to hold her.
She shivered and willed her nervous stomach to calm. She hated feeling confined in any way. It was a sad statement about her life that a brief hug would make her break out in a cold sweat and a tight embrace would have her fighting for escape. Her past might be dead, but she hadn't managed to escape its shackles. Not yet.
Gator hadn't changed much outwardly. His hair was shorter than it was the last time she'd seen him. It was short in the back and longer in the front. It suited him. His shoulders were broad and deeply tanned, his stomach and chest thick with muscle. His jeans hung loosely on his lean hips. She swallowed heavily when she noticed the large bulge in the front. Gator was aroused.
Her gaze flew to his. He was scowling at her. Not the expression of a man who was feeling either amorous or happy to see her. At least that hadn't changed. He'd spent most of his life scowling at her. She wished she knew why, what it was about her that made him angry.
Not that it mattered. Not anymore. All she wanted was to be reunited with her brother. Armand was the only person who'd ever really loved her. She wanted to reconnect with him and to hopefully find some peace in her life, a place she belonged.
But if Gator's greeting was any indication, she wouldn't find much welcome here. So be it. She'd leave as soon as possible, but not without seeing Armand. She needed to talk with him, to explain why she'd done what she had. Maybe he'd understand, maybe he wouldn't, but she had to try.
And he deserved to know the truth.
"I want to talk to Armand." It was so tempting to climb back into her car and drive away. That would be cowardly and she'd been a coward long enough. She'd hidden until she'd known it was safe to come here.
She'd honestly been shocked to discover Armand and four others had broken away from the pack to form their own. It had given her hope that her beloved brother might find the happiness she'd never had. That was all she dared hope for from life. She had no dreams left for herself, but her brother was a different story altogether.
Gator prowled closer, a wolf on the hunt. In spite of her resolve to be brave, Sylvie began to get nervous. She knew all too well what a male werewolf was capable of when he was angry. And there was no doubt that Gator wasn't exactly happy to see her.
The thin fabric of her blouse was sticking to her skin. The capri pants that had seemed so cool and stylish when she'd donned them this morning were now hot and confining.
Sylvie's back hit the car when Gator shoved the door closed, cutting off her avenue of retreat. Then he placed both hands on the vehicle, caging her in. She could smell him. The mixture of hot male flesh, sunshine and earthy woods filled her nostrils. She swallowed heavily and tried to remember her meditation exercises, how to calm herself.
Excerpted from "Wolf From the Past"
Copyright © 2015 N.J. Walters.
Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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