Mikhail Matheson may be an outsider in Salvation, but he stays with the pack to be close to his sister. It has nothing to with the fact that Elise—the most fascinating woman he’s ever laid eyes on—is part of the pack. Mikhail has wanted Elise for years, but being with her could cost him his life. Soon he’ll have to decide if he’s going to leave the pack or risk it all to pursue a place at her side.
After escaping her abusive mate, Elise LaForge has made a home in Salvation with her sons. She never expected to have her emotions stirred up by the always serious and seriously handsome Mikhail. But can she finally put her past behind her and dare to move on?
When danger creeps into the pack, both she and Mikhail have to be willing to sacrifice everything to have a chance at love.
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
Book #8 Wolf in her Soul
Book #9 Wolf of her Own
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Mikhail Matheson stood at the edge of an outcropping of rocks and watched his breath plume and then disappear into the early morning fog. The land was still. Even the birds were sheltered away from the cold, unwilling to venture out while the world was still held captive in an icy chill.
The wind didn't penetrate his thick fur coat as he turned away from the awe-inspiring sight and padded through the woods. All was silent, except for the slight crunching sound of his paws against the snow.
His senses heightened, he picked up his pace, his heavily muscled frame moving quickly and easily. He loved the icy cold. It reminded him of his home in Alaska, which was home no more.
He'd left there after he'd discovered what his packmates had done to his beloved sister. They'd waited until they'd known he'd be gone for weeks, guiding an expedition into the Alaskan wilderness. Then they'd tried to force Rina to mate against her will. Bastards. Their actions had driven her to run. He'd spent months searching for her, after he'd dealt with the threat from their former wolf pack.
They'd both been homeless. Packless. Not a good situation for a wolf.
But that had all changed for Rina. She'd mated, and to a half-breed no less, but she was happy and protected, and that was all that mattered to him. And she had a pack. The Salvation Pack had accepted her as one of their own.
He was still here, but he wasn't a member of the pack. They accepted his presence because of Rina.
That could change, and soon.
Many of the trees were naked of their leaves, their limbs stark and exposed to the winter sky, but there was still plenty of cover to be found. Mikhail hunkered down behind a fallen birch and studied the log home in the clearing.
It was no different than several others scattered nearby. It was small but well built, the logs harvested from the land on which it sat. Inside were two bedrooms — one used as a sewing and craft room, the other as an actual bedroom. The living space was compact but comfortable. The kitchen well designed with state-of-the-art appliances. A bathroom rounded out the home.
A covered porch ran the length of the front of the cabin. Two Adirondack chairs — one a vibrant purple, the other lime green — sat on one end with a round table between them. It wasn't the chairs or their wild colors that caught his eye. No, it was the woman who sat in the purple one.
She was curled up with her bare toes peeking out from beneath a heavy quilt. For once, her long brown hair wasn't bundled up into a bun at the back of her head. Instead, a thick braid trailed down in front of her. His fingers itched to unwind it. He wanted to fist his hands in the silky tresses, preferably while he was fucking her.
He'd wanted her from the moment he'd first laid eyes on her last fall. He swallowed heavily and fought his wolf, who wanted to growl and howl before laying claim to her.
Yeah, like that would go over well with her two sons. Jacque LaForge was alpha of a pack filled with strong males. He held them with his intelligence, the sheer power that was an innate part of him, and his willingness to do whatever he had to in order to protect the pack.
Then there was Louis. Her younger son was no pushover. He could have had control of his former pack after he'd killed the alpha — his own father — in a brutal battle years ago.
And that was part of the problem. Elise's former mate had been a brutal sonofabitch. Mikhail didn't have all the details, but he didn't need them to know the bastard had hurt her. It made Mikhail feel more than a little savage to think of anyone harming this lovely woman.
She was tall, but he still had half a foot on her. Where he was big and strong, she was lean and slender, almost fragile in appearance. But he knew she had a backbone of steel. She'd not only protected her sons from her ruthless mate, she'd also finally escaped and was free.
From what he'd learned from his sister, Elise had been alone for a little more than a decade. It was time for him to make a move. Either that or he had to leave.
He couldn't take being around her any longer without touching her. He'd been here for months now. Each day was a new exercise in torture. His hand and his dick were on intimate terms. Each time he jacked off, it was with a picture of Elise in his mind.
For a man who'd lived over sixty years, it should have been embarrassing as hell. But he was a werewolf, which meant he could potentially live another hundred years, maybe a little longer. His lifespan was twice that of a normal human.
So while he might be considered a little old in human terms, for a werewolf, he was in his prime. He looked around forty, and that was only because of the gray hair that streaked his temples. He knew Elise was around his age, maybe even a bit older. She had to be, since she had two grown sons. But she looked and moved like a woman in her late thirties — vibrant, alive, and extremely sexy.
It wasn't easy to keep his interest in her hidden. He was a man, but he was also a wolf, and his primal instincts ruled. He'd seen her watching him and knew he wasn't alone in his attraction. He'd rather cut off his own hand than cause her any distress, but it was time to show her just how much he wanted her.
What happened after that was up to her. His future was in her hands.
* * *
Elise LaForge sat on her front porch of her home and let the warmth from her mug seep into her hands. She enjoyed the early mornings when the rest of the world was still asleep. It was a luxury she never took for granted.
Too many days of her life had been spent rising early and hurrying to get her mate's breakfast ready before he sat down at the table. She shuddered and tugged the quilt tighter around her body.
Pierre was dead and could no longer hurt her, but she often saw his cruel dark brown eyes when she slept. It was such a dream that had driven her to seek refuge outside this morning. The world was majestic, covered in a fresh sprinkle of snow. For a woman who'd been born in the bayou and spent her entire life there, she'd taken to the cold of North Carolina like a duck to water.
Yes, they had lovely hot summer days, but nothing like the humid heat of Louisiana. Elise enjoyed the distinct seasons, each offering something unique. January, and the snow it brought with it, offered more peaceful moments such as this one. The land was still, like a quiet, calm cocoon.
Hot chocolate and thick quilts were the rule of the day. Not that she really minded the cold. She was a full-blooded werewolf, after all. But she liked the coziness of being wrapped up against the chill in a quilt she'd made herself.
She ran her fingers over the intricate design. She loved creating. Unlike most of the other women of the pack, Elise didn't have a specialty. She sewed quilts and much of her own clothing, and she cooked and baked and made jars of jams and jellies from the fresh fruits of the summer and fall harvests.
Her latest passion was photography. On a whim, she'd bought herself a camera. She didn't like to spend money, even though Jacque had opened a bank account in her name and seeded it with more money then she'd ever seen in her life.
She hadn't spent a dime of it. Instead, she'd worked and sold some of her jams and quilts at the local farmer's market, building up a nest egg of her own. She'd taken the money her son had given her and opened up two new accounts — one for each of the grandsons he and his mate had given her.
Jacque hadn't been happy with her, but he'd understood. She'd seen it in his golden-brown eyes — eyes that mirrored hers.
It was enough that the pack had given her a house of her own and added a second bedroom onto it when she'd expressed a desire for her own workspace. She'd never expected that. Elise loved her small home and her independence. But recently, she'd been feeling restless.
That was one of the reasons she'd bought the camera. It was something new, a challenge.
It was all about having patience and framing the shot. This was a perfect morning to put some of her new skills into practice. The fog drifting through the trees gave a ghostly air to the early morning.
Elise set her mug down on the table and stood, curling her bare toes against the cold wood. She was going to get dressed, grab her camera, and try to capture the essence of the morning. She'd taken one step toward the door when she realized she wasn't alone.
He was out there.
She always knew when Mikhail was close by. Every cell in her body hummed in a way that made her both hot and uncomfortable. She seriously thought about pretending she didn't know he was there, but that smacked of weakness. And after so many years of being browbeaten by her former mate, she was through being a coward.
"Come out," she demanded. Heart pounding and hands damp, she waited. Her breath quickened when he coalesced out of the morning mist. He was a big and powerfully built wolf. His fur was dark brown with glints of red and some streaks of gray on the top of his head. His green eyes shone with intelligence and something else she really didn't want to acknowledge.
"What are you doing here?" Elise knew he often watched her. She could feel his gaze follow her wherever she went. She knew one word to Jacque and Louis and they would send him away.
She told herself she kept quiet because she knew how much Rina needed her brother. The truth was much more complicated. Elise was conflicted about Mikhail. The one thing she knew for sure was that she'd miss him if he left.
He stalked slowly toward the porch. She wanted to take a step away but held her ground. She hated how even after all these years, she automatically took a defensive stance around a male werewolf. Ten years her mate had been gone, but Pierre LaForge was still controlling her life.
She straightened her shoulders and reached for her wolf. She didn't shift, but the presence of her wolf inside her gave her courage.
He shifted suddenly, going from primal wolf to powerful male in a heartbeat. His fur receded to display tanned flesh. He pushed himself upright so he was standing on two strong legs. His jaw cracked and reformed and his ears reshaped. The wolf was gone, leaving behind a man who was more than a little intimidating.
His features were rugged. She'd made a study of his face over the past months and knew it as well as her own. His jaw was square, a sign of his stubborn nature. Thick lashes that any woman would covet highlighted his vivid green eyes. Dark eyebrows slashed over them. His cheekbones were high and prominent and his nose had a slight bump in the middle. She wondered what kind of damage he must have done to himself for that to not heal properly.
She swallowed, and her nipples tightened when she looked at his lips. His bottom one was fuller than the top, and she was filled with the urge to bite it. Not hard, just enough to make him open his mouth so she could explore.
Elise could feel the heat climbing up her cheeks. What was wrong with her? She was a grown woman. A grandmother, for heaven's sake. She had no business wondering what it would be like to kiss Mikhail Matheson.
"What are you doing here?" she demanded once again. She tugged the quilt more firmly around her. Even though she was wearing a nightgown beneath it, she felt naked.
It was unnerving the way he was watching her. She felt like prey. Hunted. Yet she wasn't afraid. She knew one howl and the rest of the pack would come running. She licked her lips, and his gaze followed her tongue.
A heaviness grew deep inside her. It was followed by an ache that seemed to swell with each passing second.
"Watching you." His deep voice seemed to stroke her skin. She had to close her eyes against the potent image he made standing in the early morning, totally naked, a powerful male in his prime.
Even with her eyes shut, she couldn't block the memory of his broad shoulders, wide chest, and chiseled abs. His biceps were huge, and so were his thighs. But it was what made him male that drew her attention, even as it scared her.
Mikhail was aroused and making no move to conceal that fact.
The air around her changed and became charged with expectation. Her eyes flew open when she felt a touch on her shoulder.
He was standing right in front of her. He was a step below her but was still taller than she was. He was too big, too powerful, and far too male. She stumbled back a step, but he shot out his hand and caught her before she could retreat to the house.
"Elise." He said nothing but her name, but it froze her in place. In that one word, she heard so much — expectation, longing, and need.
God help her, she didn't want to go, but she wasn't sure she wanted to stay, either. She was stretched tight on the rack of indecision.
Mikhail slid his hand behind her nape. His fingers were strong and rough with calluses. Shivers raced down her spine, and goose bumps raced over her arms. Her fingers tightened on the quilt, holding it in place like a protective shield.
He made her uncomfortably aware of herself as a woman. She didn't fear him, just what he made her feel. Even more, she feared her own reaction to him.
"Elise." He said her name again, his tone much softer. A whisper on the air. His warm breath made a small puff of smoke in the cold air. Then his lips touched hers.
The warmth penetrated, sliding inside her like liquid heat, snaking through her limbs until they were too heavy for her to move.
He pulled back slightly, angled his head, and kissed her again. This time, he used more pressure. The only places they touched were their lips and where his hand was on her nape, yet it was as though he were covering her with his entire body. Surrounded by his heat and his earthy masculine scent, the barriers she'd erected around herself began to fail.
She'd only ever been kissed by her former mate, and even that hadn't been often. Pierre had been a brutal man, more concerned with his pleasures than worrying about if she enjoyed herself at all. The blunt truth was that he hadn't cared if he hurt her or not. Just the opposite, in fact. He'd taken a perverse satisfaction in causing her pain, in hurting her sexually, because he'd known there was nothing she could do about it. Pierre had been alpha. There'd been no one to gainsay him.
When her sons had gotten older, she'd hid her mate's brutality from them, because she'd known they'd try to stop him. And he'd have killed them. No, she'd never known softness or caring or pleasure. Until now.
Mikhail pulled back and stared down at her, his brows furrowing. "Where are you, Elise? Where do you go in your mind?"
He was too shrewd for her liking. She shook her head. She didn't want to talk about Pierre and the past. Once again, she was allowing his memory to spoil her present.
Before she could talk herself out of it, she leaned forward and plastered her mouth against his. It was a hard, awkward kiss. Nothing like the toe curling one he'd given her. Disappointed, she stopped.
Mikhail made a deep sound in the back of his throat, somewhere between a groan and a growl. "Again," he whispered.
Elise licked her lips and tried again. This time, she didn't attack his mouth. This time, she explored.
She flicked her tongue over his full lower lip. He was breathing heavily and was fully aroused. It was impossible to ignore the heavy erection prodding her stomach. Still, he made no move to do more than kiss her.
That gave her the courage to do what she'd fantasized about so many times. She carefully caught his lower lip and bit it. He growled, and the fingers at her nape tightened.
She held her breath, ready to run, but Mikhail stayed as still as a statue. Emboldened, Elise licked the area where she'd inflicted the small wound. Her entire body was on fire.
She was a grown woman. Sex was no mystery to her. She'd had children and been subjected to her husband's whims and cruelties. But this was the first time she understood what the fuss was about. This was the first time she ever truly understood why a woman would willingly give herself to a man.
Her body was alive in a way it never had been before. It wouldn't take much on Mikhail's part to talk her into bed. That scared her more than if he'd attacked her.
Mikhail was dangerous to her peace of mind and her heart. He was a male werewolf, and she was the only single female around. Like a cold bucket of water being thrown on her, that thought brought her back to reality.
She stepped back, and he let her. She was vaguely disappointed when he dropped his hand back by his side. Her neck was still warm from his touch, and it took every ounce of discipline she possessed to keep from touching the sensitive spot.
Her mating mark, which she loathed, was still there. Mikhail had brushed it with his thumb as he'd released her.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Wolf of Her Own"
Copyright © 2018 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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