Werewolf Wars Series
Author Bethany Shaw
Out of the Shadows
Published August 26, 2013
Lark Davies is the sole guardian of her younger sister, and the owner of The Cookie Jar. When she’s not working, she spends her free time at the Harris ranch. It doesn’t matter that they are werewolves. They are her family. When Devon Harris shows up at the ranch, Lark finds herself instantly drawn to him. However, Devon makes it clear that he wants nothing to do with her. But when enemies attack the ranch, Lark and Devon find themselves working together to save the people they love most. Their mutual attraction continues to intensify, leaving Lark aching for Devon’s touch. The closer they become, the further Lark is drawn into the werewolf world. Lark has known werewolves existed for some time. She just never knew how dangerous they could be.
Devon Harris has lived under his stepfather’s tyranny for too long. When his stepfather forms an alliance with a dangerous werewolf pack, Devon knows it is time to leave. He and his younger siblings seek refuge at his Uncle Rick’s ranch. There he meets the fiery human Lark. Devon instantly feels the attraction to Lark. With a war between the packs on the horizon, Devon tries to keep Lark at arm’s length. As battle lines are drawn, and Lark is sucked further into his world, Devon can no longer ignore Lark’s allure. Can Devon protect his family and keep her safe? He can only hope.
Where do I begin. Well…we can start by saying I was late for work because of this book. Luckily I have a very flexible boss. I did NOT want to put it down it was THAT good! The writing and flow of everything was amazing.
I loved this book/series! It was fast paced and it kept me enthralled the entire time. I loved Lark’s strength and spitfire attitude. She’s a kind soul, but she also fights for what she believes in and loves. She is the PERFECT Heroine and Devon is the perfect Hero. He’s an alpha male(pun not intended), who is a troubled soul. You want to take away all his pain and help him see he’s worthy of love and happiness.
There will always be people who differ in opinion, but one of the things I really love about Bethany Shaw’s writing is the fact she draws out the sexual tension. It is more of that mental foreplay vs constant sex. Maybe it’s because I enjoy a challenge myself, so the cat and mouse game is a turn on for me. She doesn’t over do it though. Just about the time you begin to wish they’d get together already, they do and then something will happen(in this case it was Devon’s commitment issues) that begins the game over again, but the crack in the armor of the hero has been made. I enjoyed watching Lark chip away at his defenses.
I really only have a couple critiques. One is of the story and that is the ending. It just felt too much like the “Gone With The Wind” closing scene with Scarlett. Maybe since that’s my favorite movie, I noticed it and it’s not something anyone else will even catch. Either way, it won’t even slightly take away from the story. The second thing is the typos. I think I was an editor in a past life, because I catch them very easily, but again, nothing that takes away from the reading experience.
My final thoughts: I love, love, LOVED it! Magnificent! I highly encourage anyone who loves Paranormal Romance with werewolves to read this series!
Lark opened her eyes, taking in the pitch black hotel room, illuminated only by the moonlight. Sweat beaded around her neck and brow. Hair stuck to the nape of her neck. She sat up and looked around at the barely visible furniture. Movement by the window caught her eye.
Devon stood at the window arms crossed over his chest. His broad shoulders accented by the bright white of the moon. Lark stared at the fine plains of his bare back. She licked her lips taking him all in. Her body shuddered recalling the way he’d felt pressed against her – the way his lips had caressed hers a day ago.
Lark blinked the images away. Thankful for the darkness that hid the heat creeping across her face. Her throat parched, she pushed the covers back to get a drink of water from the sink.
The cool water alleviated some of the heat, and glided down her parched throat. She pushed the wet strands out of her face and walked to the window. Devon hadn’t moved. Preston and the three other guys lay sound asleep on the floor. They’d been kind enough to give her the only bed.
“Do you not sleep?” Lark joined him at the window. Her eyes glued to the door across the street. To think, her sister was in that room. Lark wondered if Sarah was okay. Was she sleeping? In pain? Would they hurt her? The list went on and on.
“It’s my turn to keep watch. Daniel said they wouldn’t leave till morning, but I don’t want to risk it.” Devon looked over at her for a moment his eyes slipped down to take in her plaid pants before he turned back to the window.
She’d gone with Preston to the store earlier to pick up a few things. They’d both needed the distraction. She normally slept in boy-shorts, but after her run in with Devon the other morning, and considering she was sharing a room with five guys, she had thought better.
“Oh, I didn’t realize you guys were keeping watch. I can keep a look out if you want to rest.”
“It’s okay. Preston will take over in another half hour.” Devon shrugged. “I’m used to the late nights; it’s actually been a little bit of shell shock to get used to days. As an EMT I worked the twelve hour night shift. Most incidents happen at night, you get used to being up all night. My nights off I usually spent out too. Vincent likes to party. I went along for something to do and keep him out of trouble.”
“I can see that about Vincent. I bet you’ve seen some interesting things on your job?”
Devon smiled, the moonlight lit his hazel eyes. “People never cease to amaze you. I’ve seen the traumatic to the dramatic.”
Lark laughed. “I can imagine. You see stories on the news every so often, where someone calls 911 for a cheeseburger, or something ridiculous like that.”
“Those are the people who don’t understand the absorbent bill they get in the mail for our services either,” Devon chuckled.
The smile lit his entire face. It gave her a rare glimpse of him. Lark wondered what had happened in his past to make him so distant. Slowly, he seemed to be opening up to her. She hoped he continued to do so.
“I’m sure you get interesting characters in The Cookie Jar.”
“Yeah, about half my customers are regulars. It’s kind of nice getting to talk to everyone. You’d be amazed what people tell you though. I’ve heard so many things that I really didn’t want to know.” Lark placed her hands on the windowsill, leaning forward. She peered out the sheer curtains.
Her thoughts drifted back to Sarah and Emily; at least they had each other.
“They won’t hurt her.”
Lark looked up at him surprised, taking a moment to register his words. She nodded and sighed, eyes darting back to the door across the street. The street seemed to stretch endlessly. It felt like miles separated them instead of mere feet. She would feel better once she could hold Sarah in her arms again.
“Have you ever thought about becoming a doctor or a nurse? You know taking your training to the next level?” Lark needed a distraction and she was curious about Devon.
“My bedside manner sucks.”
Lark met his smile. “But would you?”
Devon leaned forward before rocking back on his heels. “I don’t know. I never really thought about it.”
Lark nodded. “I always enjoyed baking. I never in my life thought I’d own my own bakery. But I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”
“I do like the blueberry muffins.”
“You guys do seem to have a sweet tooth. Well, actually, I’ve noticed you guys eat just about anything.”
Devon laughed. “It’s our metabolism. Especially when we shift a lot; it makes us hungry.”
“I can tell.” Lark looked over at him. “Do you do it often? Shift I mean?”
“I try to once a day; some days, like when I worked, I couldn’t. The wolf is a part of who we are. Shifting is important for our mental well being. As a rule, we try to shift three to four times a week. The only exception is when women are pregnant. The shift is harmful to the fetus since the body transforms from a human into a wolf.”
“Does it hurt when you change?” Lark couldn’t stop herself from asking.
“It’s a pleasure pain.”
“I imagine it’s exhilarating.”
“You really are genuinely interested aren’t you?” Devon turned to her eyes locked on hers.
Lark swallowed at the intensity of his gaze and lowered her eyes to the floor.
“I…I’m not trying to be rude.”
“I know.” Devon’s fingers grazed her chin, tilting it back up. “I’ve never met someone who’s been so understanding – who’s wanted to learn more.”
His thumb cupped her chin softly eyes glued to hers. She licked her lips in anticipation.
Slowly his face inched toward hers, their breath mingled. Her heart raced, and body scorched with arousal. His woodsy scent filled her nostrils. Eyes closed, his lips grazed against hers. Devon’s stubble scratched her chin; his lips so soft against hers.
(Available in Paperback and Kindle Format)
Into the Unknown
Published January 8, 2014
After the devastating loss of his father, Gene Harris has become alpha of his werewolf pack. He has been training for this his entire life. Nothing could have prepared him for the brewing war, or the beautiful alpha female, Talia. Gene is instantly drawn to the mesmerizing she-wolf. He wants to trust Talia, but it’s hard to trust anyone–especially when they are related to the pack you’re at war with. Enemies are everywhere, and Gene must fight to protect his pack.
Natalia ‘Talia’ Alvarez grew up away from the pack. Around a year ago she was abducted and forced to become a member of her grandfather’s pack. After spending months as a prisoner, she was freed and brought to the Harris ranch. This experience leaves her weary of her werewolf heritage and unable to trust her rescuers. As a new mother protecting her son is her first priority. Talia knows her only chance at freedom is to team up with Gene. As they begin to work together, she finds herself falling for the alpha. The thought of trusting Gene terrifies her. She can’t help but wonder if he will betray her too. Trusting Gene and his pack will either be the best or worst decision she’s ever made.
This is the second book in the Werewolf Wars Series and it was just as good, if not better than the first one!
“Into the Unknown” picks up right where “Out of the Shadows” left off. It doesn’t skip a beat. We met Talia and Gene in book 1, but they’re the stars of this book, although amazing enough, the author manages to make Lark and Devon stars in this book as well, without it overshadowing Gene and Talia’s story. Bethany Shaw is a talented seamstress of storytelling. She’s able to weave so many characters into her stories, helping us become really acquainted with them and their roles, without it becoming overwhelming or congested. It really makes going from one book to another, a smooth and easy transition. It also allows more time for the actual continuation of the story instead of having to introduce new characters with each book.
I have similar thoughts about this book as I did the first one, so if I repeat, forgive me, but it is a testament to the fact the wonderful formula the author is using is consistent. I was late getting to work(again) with this book too! I also lost sleep and I couldn’t stop thinking about it the entire time I WASN’T reading it! The characters come to life and you fall into their world/story so very easily. When you’re not in it, you’re anxious to get back.
Gene has taken his rightful place as the Alpha and leader of his pack. Part of his duties is to protect his pack members, but his protective instincts towards Talia goes much deeper than typical obligation. She’s his equal in ever single way. Even when she’s fragile, she’s strong.
Talia has been through so much and she’s the feminine version of Devon in the sense that she has trust issues. But as any woman can tell you, it’s much harder for a man to gain the trust of a woman, than it is for a woman to gain that of a man, so Gene has his work really cut out for him! But if anyone can break through Talia’s walls, it’s Gene. He’s patient, loyal and kind. Something Talia hasn’t experienced since she was torn from her home and thrust into the werewolf way of life.
There is a war going on though and her father, grandfather and brother are on the opposing side. Will she fight for family or love? Will she learn to trust or betray Gene’s trust?
My Final Thoughts: Bethany Shaw is officially one of my favorite authors of the Werewolf/Paranormal genre. I don’t give many people a spot on my list and she’s definitely on it! My only critique is the typos again. It’s not excessive, but it IS holding me back from giving the books in this series a perfect score based upon my personal rating system. But again, and this is coming from a grammar nazi, it’s not significant enough to take away from the exceptional writing and story.
That being said, I can’t wait for the next book in the series to come out so I can read Daniel’s story!
Natalia leapt over a log, her paws sinking into the wet earth as she landed in the clearing where she’d left her clothes. Inhaling the smell of dank leaves and rain one last time, she scanned around the area. Satisfied that she was alone, she closed her eyes and focused on her transformation.
Wincing as her bones began to snap, Natalia gritted her teeth. Her black fur was sucked inward as her pink wolf flesh was replaced with honeyed skin. Long brown hair fell in her face as her bones continued to crack, realigning themselves. After several long, painful moments, the transition was complete. Panting heavily, Natalia sat back, trying to regain control of her breathing. Shaking, she rocked back and forth, waiting for the dizziness and pain to ebb away.
Transitioning shouldn’t be this hard. She knew that. Most wolves did it within seconds—how, she had no idea. Perhaps it was because she was part human, or maybe there was a trick to it. She couldn’t be sure.
Leaves crunched as footsteps creeped across the ground. Natalia stiffened, shooting to her feet. She scurried to get her clothes. Grabbing her panties first, she slid into them as the sound of footsteps drew near. She threw on her jeans next, followed by her bra. Her trembling fingers fought to fasten the back as Gene came into view.
“Go away,” Natalia screeched, snatching her shirt up and covering herself with it.
“I’m sorry,” Gene said, quickly turning his back to her.
She continued to fumble with her bra, finally hooking it and throwing her shirt on. “What are you doing out here?” she demanded, her face and ears burning while her body still twitched from the shift. Tensing her body, she fought to remain calm and in control of the spasms. She could not appear weak to him.
Gene turned around with one eyebrow quirked up, and a smile on his face. “This is my home. I was going for a run,” he said, gesturing toward the open woods.
Natalia drew in a deep breath, her eyes inadvertently wandering to his bare, toned chest. The moon hit his tanned skin just right, illuminating the scars on his side. Claw marks. Even with the blemish, he was perfect. The grey running shorts he wore fit snugly, showing off his muscular thighs. Taking all of him in, she veered up toward Gene’s face. His chiseled jaw and brown eyes stared at her intently.
Author Bethany Shaw
Reading, Writing, and Book Reviews
Finding Our Way
Releasing June 2014
Nora covered her mouth as she yawned. Her eyes focused on the road, she reached down, lifting her soda to her lips. Nora took a long swig of her Coke before returning it to the cup holder.
The green illumination of the dashboard clock read 12:03 AM. It was late, and she’d been driving for hours, but she wouldn’t stop until reaching her destination.
With a trembling hand, she picked up her cell phone and listened to her best friend’s voicemails one more time.
Hey, Nora, it’s April. I just wanted to let you know that I made it home okay. I know this is going to sound weird, but I need you to stay away from the apartment for a few days. I’ll wire you some money for a hotel. It’d be even better if you found one far away from home. I promise I will try to explain everything soon, but I can’t right now. Just please trust me when I tell you not to go home right now. I hope you get this soon. Call me when you do. I’ll, uh, I’ll talk to you later, okay? Be safe.
Hey, it’s me again. Um, listen, my families in trouble, Nora. I think you could be also. I’m going to text you my address. I need you to head down here as soon as you can. Please call me as soon as possible. Be safe.
The phone clicked and Nora jammed her finger over the buttons and set the phone back on top of her purse. Her hands trembled as she gripped the steering wheel. Her eyes stared out the window into the pitch-black night. She’d received that ominous message around five hours ago and had not been able to contact her best friend since. The calls went straight to voicemail. Terrified, she’d hopped in her car and started the long drive to Louisiana.
Stifling another yawn, Nora glanced over at her GPS. If it were correct, she should reach April’s home within the next fifteen minutes. Once there, she could check on her friend, and find out what the hell was going on.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a blur of yellow making a beeline for the street. She slammed on the breaks, causing the tires to squeal. A man dashed into the road, and she screamed as a loud crunch echoed through the car.
The man’s body rolled up onto her hood, colliding with the windshield. The glass cracked, and tiny spider webs erupted across the window. His body tumbled backwards, and he collapsed onto the pavement.
Nora held the steering wheel like a vice, watching in horror as he hit the pavement with an unforgiving thump. He rolled and attempted to get up, but quickly fell back to the blacktop. She held her breath, waiting for him to get up, but he didn’t. Her heart dropped and she took a shaky breath in.
Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god!
Pulse thrumming in her ears, she pushed her door open and unbuckled her seatbelt. Her eyes stayed transfixed on the deathly still person. Nausea rolled through her stomach, and she gagged on bile when she saw the awkward angle of his arm. Her knees wobbled as she forced her feet forward.
“Please be okay. Please don’t be dead,” she mumbled as she approached him.
Blood oozed into his brown hair, streaking the cocoa strands with red. His chest rose and fell in shallow, uneven, breaths. The man coughed, groaning as he rolled. He placed a trembling hand on the road as he attempted to sit up again.
“Thank god you’re not dead! Are you okay? I’m not sure you should be moving,” Nora babbled as she held her hands out unsure if she should touch him or not.
He twisted, his emerald green eyes connecting with hers. Red dribbled out of his nose, pooling on his lips.
“Who are you?” he coughed, struggling to his feet.
“I’m so sorry. Are you okay. Gah. I need to call the police. You need to get to a hospital,” she rambled. Heat crept over her cheeks at her own stupidity. She’d hit a man, he needed medical help. How was he even standing? Why hadn’t she brought her phone with her?
“No!” he yelled, clamping his good hand around her wrist.
Nora jumped at his outburst. Her eyes widened, and pulse kicked up a notch.
“No,” he said quieter. “I…I don’t have insurance. Please, just help me get out of here. Give me a ride to a motel or something. What’s your name?”
Nora stared down at his fingers that still encircled her wrist. Tiny knicks marred his skin. As she continued to assess him, she saw a large gash along his cheekbone, and blood covered his yellow shirt and dark wash jeans. His left shoulder and arm were mangled, but she couldn’t tell if it was broken or dislocated.
Realizing he was still waiting for an answer to his question, she said, “Nora, Nora Jamison.”
“I’m Daniel McKinley. I think we should get out of here, Nora.” His eyes scanned the tree line to her right and she followed his gaze.
“Are you sure you’re okay?” she asked. “I can call an ambulance—”
“No. Come on,” he snapped, hobbling forward and pulling her along with him.
Nora gaped as he stumbled to the passenger door and jerked it open. Yelling erupted from the trees, sending cold chills down her spine. Swallowing, she surveyed the brush. Her breath caught in her throat as three men emerged from the tree line, followed by a large white wolf. How is that even possible, she faltered, eyes transfixed on the large creature.
Nora flinched as the wolf howled and the three men bounded toward them. She took a few steps back, her feet faltering as her butt met her car. Pushing off the steel, she whirled around, and sprinted to the driver’s side door. A loud crackle rippled through the air, followed by a groan. Daniel slumped to the ground as his body contorted.
Horrified, Nora watched through the open door as his yellow shirt tore free from his body. Reddish-brown hair erupted onto his back. He positioned himself on his hands and knees seconds before his back jolted upwards. Another snap sounded, followed by a howl as he sprung forward.
Nora clamped a hand over her mouth as she watched the man become a wolf. She closed her eyes, and opened them again, still not believing. Yet, the wolf remained where the man had been. He lunged at the other wolf catching him mid air, and driving him to the ground.
A sob tore through her throat and she ripped her car door open. Sliding in, she was about to pull the door shut when an arm grabbed the handle, tearing it from her grasp. Warm, calloused, hands wrapped around her left forearm, and hauled her out of the vehicle. Her attacker yanked her into his firm body, holding her tight.
Frantic, Nora kicked her feet, struggling against the man in every which way, hoping to break free. Another man approached, easily dodging her swinging limbs.
“Get off me,” she screamed, throwing her head back as hard as she could. It hit something hard, and the man behind her grumbled obscenities. Lurching forward, she reeled back again, ignoring the pain slicing through her skull as it connected with the man. The assailant stumbled, his grip loosening ever so slightly. Unwilling to give up, Nora lifted her foot, and slammed her heel down. The man’s arms let go, and she ran forward, using her momentum, she ran straight for the other man. Raising her hands to her face, she swung her right leg instead, catching him off guard as she connected her foot with his manhood. The man cupped himself, and groaned, falling to his knees.
Her triumph was short lived as a strong grip wrapped around her torso. No! She bucked against her attacker to no avail.
“You’re going to pay for that you stupid, little, bitch,” the man rasped in her ear.
You’re a fighter, Nora, Fight!
Nora thrashed in his arms, but his hold was unforgiving. The man behind her stiffened, his fingers dug into her arms. Snapping her head up, she gasped as she watched the reddish-brown wolf tear into the man she’d kicked only moments ago. The man gurgled, sputtering as he coughed. Crimson poured from his mouth as his body trembled. The wolf growled and turned toward them.
“You don’t want to hurt her do you?” the man sneered as the reddish-brown wolf approached. “You’ll have to come through her to get to me.”
Nora whimpered, cringing away from the man as his hot breath blasted against her neck.
The wolf snarled, baring his massive, white, canines. Nora halted her movements, eyes transfixed on the wolf’s golden eyes. His head cocked to the side, watching her, then he lunged.
Nora shrieked as she was tossed to the side. Her hands rose up to protect her face, but it was too late. Nora’s forehead smacked against the edge of the door. Her vision clouded, then went black.
Daniel snapped his jaws as he dove at the man. Like a coward, the human threw the girl out of the way, and spun around to flee to the woods. Daniel grunted as he jumped, nails outstretched and tackled him to the ground. His jaws clamped around the man’s neck, and with one quick twist, the bones crunched.
With a grunt, he pulled back. His body throbbed and breaths came in unsteady, labored, pants. Closing his eyes, he took a deep breath in and hobbled over ensuring that the three men and wolf were in fact dead. Satisfied, he sniffed at the young woman. The metallic stench of blood invaded his senses, and he whined as he inspected her. There was a laceration just above her eyebrow. He nuzzled her, relieved to see that her chest rose and fell evenly.
Daniel took a step back and lowered himself to the ground. Gritting his teeth, he whimpered as his broken body snapped, the bones realigning as he transformed. He stood up with a grimace, and stretched his stiff limbs.
Limping, he walked over to the closest man, and quickly removed his shoes and then tugged his jeans down. He was sure the young woman was going to have lots of questions when she awoke, and he assumed it would go a lot better if he were wearing pants. The last thing he wanted was to frighten her anymore than she already was. After he pulled the jeans on, he took the black tee off the man whose neck he had snapped. Setting the socks and shoes in the car, he carefully lifted the woman into his arms, and laid her across the back seat.
Daniel took a moment to look over the unconscious woman. Her copper hair fell in soft waves. Light freckles were sprinkled across her cheeks and nose. The scared amber eyes that had been alert only moments ago were now shut. Her breathing was even, and aside from a few red marks on her creamy skin, the only visible injury to her was the cut above her brow. She should be okay, he thought, at least he hoped she would be.
One way or another, she was involved in all of this now. It was his duty to keep her safe.