Anny Conrad is a thirty-year-old single librarian, She knows she’s a bit of a cliché—she even has the two cats to prove it—so when Mr. Tall, Dark, and Dangerous asks her for a dance, she throws caution to the wind and indulges in what she’s sure will be one night of spectacular passion with a man as rugged and untamed as a hero in one of the books she loves she read.
Armand LaForge and his small pack are fighting for their lives against the vicious Louisiana pack they broke away from. If timing is everything, this is the worst possible time to meet his mate—especially a human mate. But now that he’s found her, he can’t let her go, even though dragging her into his world means she’s a target now, too.
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
Anny Conrad could barely hear herself think over the raucous country music blaring from the jukebox in the corner of the bar, let alone hear what her friend Sue was saying. "What?" Anny yelled.
Sue frowned and pointed to the dance floor. Anny shook her head and motioned for her friend to go ahead if she wanted to. Anny wasn't much of a dancer, at least not to the faster songs.
Sue jumped to her feet and worked her way around the tables to the small dance floor at the end of the bar. Somehow on her way there, she managed to pick up a partner. Anny shook her head and sighed. She wished she had even a small portion of Sue's confidence.
They were both around five foot five, but that was where the similarities ended. Sue was blonde and had a curvy figure that attracted men like flies to honey. She was also outgoing and friendly, flirty without crossing a line. Men liked her. Women liked her. Sue had a smile that just invited you to smile along.
Anny, on the other hand, had brown hair and was slender with few curves. Where Sue was outgoing, she was quiet and bookish, never quite knowing what to say or do in social situations. They'd been friends for most of their lives in spite of the fact they were so different. Maybe even because of it.
She picked up the bottle of beer Sue had insisted on buying her and took a sip. The cool, yeasty beverage slid down her throat. She wasn't much of a drinker but this wasn't half bad. Anny watched as Sue and her partner danced around the floor easily and effortlessly.
She set her drink back on the table and sighed. She'd love to be confident enough to move like that. Thirty years old today, and what had she done with her life? She had a job she loved as the school librarian and a good friend in Sue. She'd never married and had kids, but there was still time for that dream to happen.
She rubbed the condensation on the side of the bottle and glanced down at the scarred tabletop. Who was she kidding. That dream was done for. There weren't a whole lot of single men living in and around Salvation, and those that were here were more interested in women like her friend. Sue had been married and divorced once and had an adorable little boy who was home tonight with his grandparents.
Anny had two cats waiting at home for her.
She shook off her melancholy mood. It wasn't like her to wallow and she didn't like it. There was nothing wrong with her life. It was simply that she'd thought she'd be in a different place by now. Thirty was a milestone in any woman's life. She'd just have to reevaluate her plans and make new ones.
The song ended and Sue returned to the table and plopped back down into her chair, breathless, her face flushed from dancing. "That was fun. You should try it."
It was Sue who'd gotten her parents to babysit tonight so she could drag Anny out to celebrate. Without her friend, Anny would have probably gone straight home from work and done nothing to mark the day. She'd had a birthday card from her parents a few days ago. They were currently in Arizona and planned to park their RV there for a few months. They'd left Salvation the day after her father had retired from his job at the bank and hadn't looked back since. She didn't really miss them because they'd never been that close.
Impulsively, she reached out and squeezed Sue's hand. "Thank you for inviting me out tonight." The local roadside bar wasn't a place she usually frequented. Granted, it had changed ownership and undergone a major renovation a few years back, but it still had a reputation of being a rowdy spot. But there were a lot of couples as well as groups of men and women just looking for an enjoyable evening, so she didn't feel too out of place.
Sue squeezed her hand back. "That's what friends are for. Happy birthday, Anny." She checked her watch. "Unfortunately, I've got to call it a night soon. I've got the early shift at the diner tomorrow." Sue worked at Kathy's Kitchen, one of the few places to eat in the small town of Salvation.
"How about you have another dance or two," Anny encouraged. In spite of her outgoing personality, Sue didn't actually get to socialize much outside of work. She was a dedicated mother and spent most of her time off with her son. "Then we'll call it a night."
One of the men Sue had danced with earlier stopped by their table and bent down to speak to her. Anny recognized him. Sam Owens owned the only gas station in town. Sue glanced at Anny and then nodded at Sam. The music started up again and the two of them took to the floor.
Anny sighed and tapped her fingers on the table, wishing for once in her life she had nerve enough to ask a man to dance.
Armand sat in the dark corner of the bar and watched the couples moving on the dance floor. What in the hell am I doing here? The loud music hurt his sensitive ears, and he kept picking up stray snippets of conversation from the surrounding tables. He hated the smell of smoke, stale beer and sweat, not to mention the clouds of perfume and cologne that threatened to choke him. His enhanced werewolf senses weren't an advantage at a time like this.
He'd come to town earlier to pick up a few supplies and had stayed. He'd been sitting here for a few hours now, watching as the place filled up with people. He'd had a couple of beers, but that was it. There was no way he'd let down his guard enough to over drink. Besides, with their fast metabolism, it was almost impossible for his kind to get drunk.
His phone rang and he checked the caller ID. He answered, knowing if he didn't they'd come looking for him. "What?"
His buddy and fellow pack mate Gator Rollins paused for a moment before speaking. "Where the hell are you?"
The music was making it hard for him to hear Gator. "I'm at Salvation's End." The place wasn't bad as roadhouse bars went. Plenty of beer and music. "Is there a problem?" Maybe he should just head back to the pack compound.
"Non. No problem. Just worried about you. It's not like you to be gone for so long and not check in." Gator's Cajun accent thickened, which told Armand just how worried he was. They'd all worked hard to try to minimize their accent in order to fit in better with the locals. Not that they spent much time with any of the people in town. They mostly kept to themselves.
"I just needed some space." He needed something. Waiting to see what their enemies would do next was keeping them all on edge, him especially. "I'll be heading back soon." He ended the call and tucked his phone back into his pocket.
He gazed around the room, his eyes returning to a woman who was once again sitting alone at her table. She'd come in with her friend about an hour ago and the blonde woman had spent most of her time on the dance floor while the brunette sat alone.
That was just wrong.
She seemed sad and pensive even though she smiled at her friend.
Not his business. Still, he couldn't help but watch her as she rolled her beer bottle between her hands. There was just something about her that caught his attention and wouldn't let it go. She was pretty, but in an understated way.
If there was one thing that Armand was an expert in, it was women. They fascinated him with their moods and thought processes. So different from a male's. He found them all beautiful — young and old. They came in such a variety of shapes and sizes it was a buffet for the senses. They were meant to be cherished and taken care of, not abused or hurt.
He'd grown up in a werewolf pack where the men were more rabid dog than human. He'd been unable to stop the abuse of his mother and sister, but how he treated women was not what he'd learned growing up. His father, alpha and others had often ridiculed him for his actions, accusing him of being weak. As if beating someone made you stronger.
And if he was getting philosophical about the past, it was definitely time to leave. Armand pushed back his chair and stood. He started toward the door, really he did, but somehow he found himself standing beside the woman seated alone. Close up, she was even lovelier than he'd thought.
Her skin was smooth and fine with a slight tinge of red to her cheekbones, which seemed more natural than cosmetic. Her blue eyes widened when she looked up at him, and she parted her rosy lips. She was slender, almost delicate with hair the color of mahogany that fell in a straight curtain to midway down her back.
His cock sprang to attention when he got a whiff of her sweet- scented skin. It wasn't perfume. Much to faint for that. Had to be her soap or some kind of lotion. The delicate floral scent made him think of a summer meadow on a hot day. It wasn't much of a stretch to imagine her naked, lying on the warm ground with him buried deep inside her.
"Would you care to dance?" The words were out of his mouth before he could call them back. What was he doing? This was not the kind of woman who was only out for a good time. He could deal with a woman like that. He didn't mind a quick, heated sexual encounter where both partners found mutual satisfaction and then walked away. That was all he had room for in his life.
He waited while she continued to stare at him as if she didn't quite trust him or his offer of a dance. Yes, Armand knew women, and this one screamed trouble. But he would not rescind his offer.
She bit her bottom lip and he could read her growing apprehension. He was about to apologize for disturbing her and move on when she spoke. "I really don't know how to dance."
Her voice wrapped around him, warm and soft, like a blanket on a cool night, seeping into every cell of his body. His wolf went on alert and his cock sprang to attention.
There was no way he could leave her now. He could hear the yearning in her voice and knew she wanted to dance but was afraid to.
His friends would shake their heads and laugh at him. His soft spot for women often got him in trouble. But he'd rather deal with the consequences of some woman using him than be cold and heartless like his father.
The music changed, becoming slower and not quite as loud. Armand smiled and held out his hand. "Then let me show you."
Anny wasn't sure she was still breathing. Her chest ached and her entire body quivered with anticipation. The man standing beside her was tall and broad shouldered. He wasn't handsome in the classical sense. He couldn't be with several wicked scars marring the left side of his face. It gave him a menacing appearance, but there was something compelling about him. His black hair fell to his shoulders, longer than most of the men around here wore theirs. It gave him a wild, untamed appearance. His eyes were so dark she couldn't tell if they were brown or black, but the depth of unspoken emotions in them pulled on her heartstrings.
Maybe she was being fanciful. He was a stranger. A tall, dark stranger. She should have been scared to death or at least cautious. Instead, she was filled with an urge to get closer to him. So when he held out his hand, she eagerly took it.
She was safe enough here. The bar was filled with people. There was no danger in indulging in a harmless dance. She'd call it a birthday present to herself.
He led her to the crowded dance floor and turned her so she was facing him. He leaned down and whispered in her ear, "Just follow my lead." His warm breath tickled her ear and sent a shiver racing down her spine. His voice was deep and compelling.
He placed one hand on the small of her back and pulled her closer, aligning their bodies. The man was huge and made her feel slight in comparison. "Just move to the music, chère. Let your body feel the rhythm."
She watched him, unable to tear her gaze away from his face. He was ruggedly handsome. His rough appearance so at odds with his fluid speech. She'd caught the hint of Louisiana in his voice and instantly knew who he was. Most of the town was interested in the group of men who'd moved up here a little more than two years ago from the south. Speculation was rife, but no one really knew much about them. They mostly kept to themselves and were quiet and polite whenever they ventured into town.
He moved easily to the music, his body fluid and innately sexual. She, on the other hand, felt more like a robot, her movements stiff.
"Relax," he murmured. "No one is watching. There's nothing to worry about. Just close your eyes and let the music take you."
When she did nothing but stare at him, he sighed. "Close your eyes. Go on."
Anny reluctantly shut them and immediately became more aware of the man she was dancing with. With her vision impeded, her other senses took over. She could smell him. It was an outdoorsy scent, like trees after a morning rain. She was also well aware of his large hands resting at the base of her spine. He held her loosely, but she was very aware of his broad chest and shoulders.
"Feel the music." He turned to the left and she automatically moved her body to match his. "That's good, chère," he praised. The music was slow and had a beat that was easy for her to follow when she stopped thinking about it.
Warmth flowed from him and she had the urge to cuddle up to him. Anny wondered what it would feel like to have his much bigger body rubbing against hers.
As if he could hear her very thoughts, he pulled her closer. Her breasts pressed against his chest and her belly pressed against a very hard bulge in the front of his jeans. Heat suffused her and it was all she could do not to fan herself.
"What's your name?"
Her eyes flew open. Her dance partner was staring at her with those dark, bottomless eyes. She was dancing with a stranger, pressing her body up against his and wondering what it would feel like if they were both naked, and she didn't even know his name. What had come over her? She couldn't blame the alcohol because she hadn't even had one full beer.
"Anny," she managed to get out.
He tucked a lock of hair behind her ear, grazing his fingers along the side of her neck as he did so. Her skin tingled where he touched her and a throbbing began low in her belly. "Conrad," she added. Was that her voice so sultry and slow?
"Nice to meet you, Anny Conrad." He maneuvered them around the floor until they were dancing in a shadowy corner. "I'm Armand. Armand LaForge." The song ended, but thankfully another slow one began. She didn't want this amazing dance to end, not yet. It wasn't often in a woman's lifetime that she had the opportunity to spend time with a man like Armand.
He was sexy without even trying. All he had to do was breathe. His voice alone was enough to make any woman a puddle at his feet.
"Hi." Her greeting sounded more like a sigh. He grinned and she immediately felt her cheeks heat. Could she be any more stupid, acting silly over a man she just met, one who'd only asked her to dance. He probably thought she was an easy conquest.
She started to pull away, but he kept his hands tight against her back, imprisoning her in the circle of his brawny arms. "Stay. Please."
It was the sincerity in his voice that made her stop trying to get away from him. "Dance with me, Anny."
Commonsense told her to thank him for the dance and walk away. It was time for her to go home. Like Cinderella at the ball, the clock was ticking away and this wasn't real. But she was no Cinderella and he certainly wasn't any Prince Charming. He looked more like he'd be the villain in any fairytale, yet she was drawn to him.
"Just one more," he coaxed.
Anny glanced toward their table and found Sue watching her. Her friend gave her a thumb's up and mouthed, "You go, girl."
Anny looked back at Armand, who was watching her intently. "Okay."
He relaxed and pulled her against him once more.
It was torture, pure and simple.
Armand wasn't sure what the hell he was doing. He should have left the bar five minutes ago. Instead, he was on the dance floor in the middle of a crowd of humans holding the most delectable woman he'd ever met. There was nothing overtly sexy about Anny Conrad. Not in the way she looked or dressed. But it was there. He could sense it in the way she looked at him, in the way she flowed against him when she forgot her surroundings and lost herself in the music.
There was a lot of untapped sexual heat in Anny just waiting for the right man to release it.
He growled low in his chest at the thought of any man touching her. Anny's heat belonged to him.
That stopped Armand cold. What the hell was he thinking? There was no room in his life for a woman, especially a human one. Not with the threat against the pack and Armand's personal need for vengeance consuming him.
Excerpted from "Wolf in Her Bed"
Copyright © 2014 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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