Title: Wolves’ Pawn
Author: P.J. MacLayne
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal
Dot McKenzie is a lone wolf-shifter on the run, using everything available to her to stay one step ahead of her pursuers. When she is offered a chance for friendship and safety with the Fairwood pack, she accepts.
Gavin Fairwood, reluctant heir to the Fairwood pack leadership, is content to let life happen while he waits. But old longings surface when he appoints himself Dot’s protector ... and becomes more than a friend.
But her presence puts the pack and her new friends at risk, and Dot must go into hiding again. When old enemies threaten the destruction of the Fairwood pack, it will take the combined efforts of Dot and Gavin to save it.
Can anything save their love and Dot’s life when she becomes a pawn in a pack leader’s deadly game?
“It’s time to go, Maria,” said Lisa, shaking Dot out of her sound sleep.
“Now?” Dot checked at the clock. It was two o’clock in the morning.
“We just got a call. Unfriendlies are in the neighborhood. We spotted them hanging around the apartment complex this afternoon, asking questions. It’s not safe for you anymore.”
“How did they find me so fast? I’ve only been here a week and I hardly left the building!” Staying inside that long had grated on her nerves, but Lisa kept her supplied with a steady stream of books to help break the boredom. Dot had only started to get settled in.
Lisa shrugged. “No time to figure it out. We have a friend on the way over to move you someplace safe. We’ll have to find our leak after you’re gone.”
Dot rolled off the sleeper sofa and grabbed her clothes.
“You’ve got everything in the backpack, right?” Lisa asked, grabbing it from a nearby chair.
“Yes. Money, new ID, toothbrush, what few clothes I own.”
“Remember you’re Maria Lapahie now.” It had been Dot’s idea to use her grandmother’s maiden name. “I slipped a cell phone in there too. It’s turned off, but I programed in the library’s number.”
A knock on the door made Dot jump, but Lisa nodded. “There’s your ride now.” She handed Dot her backpack and hugged her. “You know what I hate the most?” she asked with a shaky laugh. “I hoped to pull some more ideas out of that weird brain of yours. I’ve never known anyone who thinks the way you do. You would have been a great addition to the group.” She let go, and opened the door. “She’s ready.”
The man who stood in the hallway was dressed in black leather and was someone she wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley. Dot reached. “He’s not…” she said.
“No. He’s not a shifter. That’s what makes him perfect for this. Now get out of here.” Lisa gave Dot a gentle shove. “Maybe someday we’ll meet under better circumstances.”
“Where are we going?” Dot asked as she followed the man down the stairs.
“No talking. No names. That’s part of the deal,” he said. He led her to a beat up old pickup with a camper on the back, and opened the camper door. “Get in,” he grunted, “And lay on the floor.” He reached up and grabbed a pillow off a shelf. “It’s going to get bumpy.”
Dot tossed her backpack in the bed of the pickup as far as she could and pulled herself up. As he slammed the camper door behind her, she wondered if she had just been a willing participant in her own capture.
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Born and raised among the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania, P.J. MacLayne still finds inspiration for her books in that landscape. She is a computer geek by day and a writer by night who currently lives in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. When she's not in front of a computer screen, she might be found exploring the back roads of the nearby national forests and parks. She writes the Harmony Duprie Mysteries (not-quite-cozy) and the Free Wolves Adventures. (urban fantasy/paranormal)
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