Wooing a life mate can be hard enough for a wolf, wooing one while under the threat of a curse even more so.
Wooing a mate while pretending to be her dog? Nearly impossible.
After being drugged and captured by Animal Control, Max Adams is on Hoboken's doggie death row when his life mate adopts him, takes him home, and promptly names him Fluffy.
While JC, in all her new-pet-owner-ness, feeds "Fluffy" vile kibble, dresses him in mortifying dog couture, and schedules to have his his manhood removed, Max's human side gets to know JC. Especially in the biblical sense.
Hopefully well enough to make her fall madly in love, mate with him under the full moon, and move with him to Cedar Glen to live happily every after forever and ever amen.
Because the curse comes with a deadline. . .and the clock is ticking.
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Max Adams ran as though the hounds of hell chased him, pounding the pavement with swift, measured strides. The click of his nails echoed in the rain-soaked, empty streets. Flashes of buildings passed in a blur, his nose frantically seeking food. His long tongue slipped out the side of his mouth, draping over the clumps of hair covering his chin—er, muzzle.
Panting, he eyed each alleyway from his peripheral vision, desperately searching.
The smells of the city assaulted his ultra-sensitive senses. Max sniffed the air, picking up the aroma of broiled steak; pork chops with thick brown gravy; veal medallions in a creamy white sauce with sliced onions, and a sprig of parsley for garnish; and scalloped potatoes…no wait, they were au gratin. Definitely au gratin.
His stomach roared its discontent. Good hell, he was hungry.
But could he afford to indulge in morsels of succulent calf seared to perfection right now? They’d be easy enough to snatch from some unsuspecting diner’s table.
No. There was no time to waste because he was too damn busy playing this ridiculous game of “here, doggy, doggy.” Which he wouldn’t be doing if it weren’t for the alleged vision.
A sharp whistle stopped him in his tracks and again his ears twitched to the tune of two men yelling, “Here, boy! C’mon, puppy!”
That’s Mr. Werewolf to you.
Max flared his nostrils and huffed in distaste. Puppy. He was no damn puppy.
As he sought shelter, he had to wonder, did it get any worse than this? Hoofing the streets like some desolate stray, searching for what his Aunt Eva claimed was his prophecy?
In Hoboken, New Jersey?
Yet, here he was, prophecy hunting. Because that’s what everyone in his pack did. When the call came, they all had a destiny to fulfill. No one ignored the call.
Especially not Max. Because he liked living.
He held an intense disdain for all the mumbo-jumbo folklore bullshit beaten into his psyche since he was a child, but there was no proof he wouldn’t die if he didn’t mate by the first full moon after meeting his destiny.
So mate he would.
However, unless his memory failed him, no one had ever fulfilled the journey to their soul mate while being hunted like wild boar.
The Prophecy has spoken, Eva had said. A prophecy she’d found, like usual, in a bowl of chicken noodle soup.
To say chicken noodle night was a nightmare for his family was putting it lightly.
But his family members claimed Eva knew all, so his divination lay in some murky broth and noodles.
The curse cast upon his family declared if he didn’t follow his path to his providence, he was essentially toast. He’d have to face the mojo of all mojos. So, rather than take the risk this destiny of his was flat-out bullshit, and the possibility of a bloody, ugly demise, he ran.
Besides, who’d want to miss a two-hundred-mile trek and starvation just to get to their destiny, only to be hunted like game? This was what all those stories told around campfires were made of. It put hair on your chest, made you stronger—a real man.
Racing down a deserted, dimly lit street, he spied a chain-link fence that looked like his ticket out of this.
Except he had four paws and not a pair of legs to climb said fence.
The thunderous sound of feet on blacktop diminished behind him. Maybe they’d given up? But his ears picked up mumbling as the men who pursued him continued their search.
No such luck.
A bright light cornered him as he swept past a Dumpster, only to find a dead end.
“Holy cow! Look at him. He’s goddamn huge, Al!” one of his potential jailors hollered from behind the glare of the flashlight. Bent at the knee, one of the men squinted at his from the darkness.
Damn right he was huge, and he was going to take a big bite out of poor Al’s ass if he came any closer.
Al followed up with a long whistle, readjusting his baseball cap. “Jesus! I’ve never seen anything that big, Len. German shepherd, ya think?”
Len’s eyes were wide in the darkened alley. He rocked back on his heels and gave his obviously professional opinion. “Mutant German shepherd, maybe.”
Fear not, good citizens of Hoboken. Animal Control’s finest are hard at work. German shepherd. Hah.
“Wait,” Al said, “I’ve got something for him.” He began to dig around in his pocket, pulling out a plastic bag. He probably had a stash of Milk Bones at the ready to entice strays.
Hardly worthy of him, when he was used to dining on filet, but Max figured he’d give Al a nod in the noble effort category.
As he watched Al skeptically from the corner he was backed into, he caught his first whiff of Al’s magic stray-catcher stash.
No. No. Not that. Anything but that. His stomach howled in violent response to the contents of the plastic bag.
Jesus, Al. That’s so unfair.
“Look, puppy…look what I have.” Al held meat—red meat—between his fingers, shaking it around to entice him.
Max liberally sniffed the air surrounding the meat. Oh, the hell. How insulting. It was going to take a helluva lot more than some cheap round steak to get him to bite. It was filet or nothing.
But his stomach growled again in another protest—meaning round steak was better than no steak.
Well, okay, he’d bite. He could easily knock this guy out while snatching the meat from him.
Max prowled closer, moving in on Al’s beefy hand, exposing his fangs with a low snarl. Teeth. It was all about showing them the teeth. Freaked everybody out.
His next move was intentionally sudden. He made a howling leap of an arc, one an Olympic pole-vaulter would envy, nabbing the meat with his teeth and gobbling until it was halfway down his throat.
That was when he felt the sting of the dart.
Son of a bitch.
If he could, Max would have rolled his eyes at how predictable the tactic had been.
As he fell to the ground with a bone-rattling thud and the world began to go black, his last thought was, two guys named Al and Len had bested him.
Christ, the shit he was gonna get from the guys back home for this.
About the Author
Her goals are simple: banish the color yellow forever, create world peace via hot rollers and Aqua Net, and nab every tiara in the land by competing in the Miss USA, Miss Universe, and Miss World pageants. And of course, write really funny, sexy, romantic books!
Dakota lives in Oregon with her dogs and her husband, who puts the heroes in her books to shame. She loves, loves, loves to connect with readers, so visit her online.
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