River Wolf by Heather Long is a hot, sexy, and snarky tale of redemption, betrayal, healing, and the power of love.
After a murderer tore his pack apart, Alpha Brett Dalton must put the pieces back together again while solving the mystery of the woman who captivates him. Readers who’ve fallen for the Willow Bend wolf pack with fall even harder for this 7th book in the series. Packed with action, animal instinct, and tension, this book will leave you panting for more.
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Mama Reads, Hazel Sleeps
Title: River Wolf
Author: Heather Long
Series: Wolves of Willow Bend
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: August 25th, 2015
Print Length: 100K
Format: Paperback and Digital
Print ISBN: 9781515313618
Digital ISBN: 9781311154637
Brett Dalton, Alpha of Hudson River, isolated himself from his pack mates after one betrayed him. The once, easygoing Alpha has become taciturn, remote and unforgiving. His pack worries for him, but they too have suffered a devastating blow. When several members leave to join Three Rivers, the pack faces the threat of dissolution until Brett’s best friend and Lone Wolf, Luc Danes returns to Hudson River accompanied by a beautiful young human—or is she? Something about the woman consumes Brett. Has Luc come home to help or to take the pack from Brett?
Colby Jenson wrapped up thousands of hours of community service working at the hospital in Maine when an injured Luc Danes rolled through the door. The impossible patient drove the nurses crazy, but when Danes offered her money no strings attached to drive him to New York, she agreed. The last thing she expected was to arrive in the small Westchester County town and to meet the craziest collection of residents—especially the devastatingly sexy Brett Dalton. Part of her wants to hit the road, the rest wants to make him smile and he keeps making excuses for her to stay.
Then she sees the wolves…and is exposed to a world she can barely imagine. When Brett discovers a secret about her, nothing will be the same again. Now she will find herself torn between a world she isn’t sure she can understand and the man who has taken her heart hostage…
Praise for the Wolves of Willow Bend series:
“Long dished out a lot of unexpected twists and turns and did a great job tying it all together. The build-up and bits of action kept me up late at night flipping the pages.” – Booked & Loaded
“ROGUE WOLF is a fast paced, intriguing look into the world of shifters. Salvatore is old world a bit stodgy and Margo is very much new world and on top of that a lone wolf and Enforcer. How is it possible that these two could be mates? In author Heather Long’s vivid and fun imagination it’s very easy.” – Fresh Fiction
“BAYOU WOLF is in a word … amazing. All the reader can do is hold on for the ride and enjoy the fireworks.” – Fresh Fiction
“If you love sexy wolf shifters, sweet love stories and action then you have to pick up UNTAMED WOLF by Heather Long.” – Annetta Sweetko, Fresh Fiction
Excerpt from River Wolf:
So not ready to be awake…
A knock on the door intruded in her drifting and she groaned. Dammit, she was a guest. She couldn’t stay in bed all day. In fact, what she needed to do was get up, shower, dress and get her ass on the road. Florida seemed a hell of a long way to go, though. Rolling over, she shoved the blankets away then climbed out of the bed. Glaring at the light between the curtains, she rubbed a hand over her face, then stumbled to the door.
Opening it a crack, she gazed at her host. Goddammit. He looked perfect. Dressed in a clean, nicely pressed shirt with the top two buttons open to reveal the faint curls of dark against his chest and smelling like heaven, he looked good enough to eat. His hair wasn’t even damp, though it fell in a soft wave toward his forehead. He’d been up long enough to shower and dress—and he wore a smile.
“Ugh,” she sighed. “Please God tell me you are not one of those happy morning people.”
The corner of his sensual mouth quirked higher. The effect on his expression devastated her sleepy senses. No human should ever look so damn good without coffee. The combination of rake and boy next door added to his appeal, but the trace of scars and mottled skin gave him a ruggedness she desperately wanted to smooth away. “I woke you.”
“Not exactly,” she admitted, rubbing her cheek against the door and leaning on it a little more heavily. Everything ached and she wanted to go back to sleep. “I’m used to getting by on a lot less sleep.” And rolling out of bed to go to work for eight hour shifts that as often as not turned into ten to twelve hours on her feet. “I think I am tireder than I thought.” She yawned the last three words, and when she glanced at him again, his expression softened.
Extending a finger, he traced the line of her cheek and it was a soothing motion, one which had her eyes half-closing in pleasure. “Go back to bed, Colby.” His voice washed over her. “I’ll be in my office working.”
“I can’t laze about in bed all day.” No matter how good it sounded.
“Because…” She had to go to Florida or at least say her goodbyes. She was a guest and not even an intentional one. “…Luc. I should probably check on him.”
“He’s fine, the doctor is with him.” The indulgence in his voice evaporated, but the steadiness in his tone remained. “Go sleep. When you wake up, come find me. We’ll have coffee.”
Tempting. So. So. Tempting. “I’m up now…but coffee sounds like heaven. Really, really strong coffee.”
“Double pot? I made one, I can run it through again.”
Colby groaned at the idea. Now that he’d mentioned it, she could smell the coffee. It proved even more alluring than the sweet vanilla and jasmine entwining the pine of his cologne on her pillow. Releasing the door to stretch, she would have thumped her tail if she’d had one. “Yes, please. If it wouldn’t be too much to ask.”
Silence greeted her comment, and she found Brett gazing at her. Rapt admiration in his eyes as he trailed his gaze down her body and up again.
Fuck me… She still only wore a t-shirt and panties and she’d just given him a show. “Crap. Sorry.” Slamming the door shut, she leaned against it. Adrenaline burned through the remaining traces of sleepiness, adrenaline and a healthy dose of lust. Having him look at her like that warmed inside and out.
“Please,” his voice stroked her through the door. “Don’t apologize. I’ll go fix the coffee. Come and find me.”
The invitation had her toes curling and she bit her lip. “I will,” she said, then added in a low whisper. “I promise.”
“I’ll be waiting.”
A shiver skated over her spine and she closed her eyes. Maybe she should have invited him inside to go back to bed with her. Inappropriate as hell, and impulsive, but she bet Brett would wake her even better than the coffee.
He already has…
Thank you so much for giving us the low down today Heather Long! Here’s your exclusive guest post:
Who’s Who in the Pack? – Hudson River versus Willow Bend
Pack dynamics fascinate me—not only as a psychology major and dog owner but also as an author. When I created the Wolves of Willow Bend, I knew I had to design the pack structure, because dominance is important in any pack—it definitely is in my personal one here at home. What roles needed to be filled? Where would they fall in the hierarchy?
Those were the first questions I asked myself. Recognizing I had multiple packs in the U.S. (five to be exact—though following Rogue Wolf, we have six) and other packs in the world, I had to answer yet another question. How did the pack structure vary from pack to pack?
Keeping those questions in mind, here is a thumbnail of the pack hierarchy, the various positions within Willow Bend, and the complimentary positions in the other packs (if they’ve been revealed!)
Alpha – there is always only ONE Alpha for a pack. One leader. An Alpha becomes Alpha through Alpha Challenge—a battle with the previous Alpha, which can be won through physical conflict or by having the previous Alpha simply surrender. The only true law is that once a wolf calls for Alpha Challenge, he or she cannot be harmed by any other member of the pack. The challenger is given safe passage to face the Alpha.
The Alpha bears the weight of responsibility for making all decisions crucial to the pack’s survival, the laws and the overall care. Some Alphas have a council they rely on, or they may seek the counsel of other wolves in their pack, but that is unique to each pack. In Willow Bend, Mason has a council comprised of a Senior Hunter, a Healer, a Tradesman, a pack Elder, his Second and the surviving mate of the former Alpha, who all serve as a de facto council, providing him with information and support in addition to his mate.
In Hudson River (Brett’s pack), he relies on no one else—part of the issue which he must face in River Wolf. Currently, Owen and Gillian (both from Willow Bend) are the closest thing to a council in Hudson River after the events of Wolf Claim.
Interestingly, we met the Alphas of the other packs in Bayou Wolf, including:
- Serafina Andre – Delta Crescent
- Diesel – Yukon
- Cassius – Sutter Butte
- Luciana Barrows – Three Rivers
- Salvatore Esposito – Seven Hills (Italy) – it should be noted that Salvatore is an Alpha of Alphas. He rules all of Italy, and the myriad of packs who occupy the country all answer to him.
The Alpha’s Mate – When an Alpha mates, he or she is not Alpha to their mate. Mating is for life, and though a mate can sometimes survive the loss of their partner, they have to be equals in their relationship to a certain degree. It is vital for an Alpha to have the support of a mate who can stand up to them and be a true partner. The mate of an Alpha is not also a de facto leader simply because of their mate, however.
In Hudson River, Brett has no mate currently, though he did tease Owen about pursuing Gillian once upon a time.
The Alpha mates we know of are:
- Alexis Huston Clayborne – Mate to Mason of Willow Bend.
- Linc Buckley – Mate to Serafina Andre of Delta Crescent.
- Margo Montgomery – Mate to Salvatore Esposito of Seven Hills
The Second – Every Alpha must have a trusted lieutenant, someone who can speak for them in their absence. This Wolf is appointed in Willow Bend—specifically when Mason appoints A.J. Buckley to be his Second. This is a special position, as the wolf wields dominance over the majority of the pack and his word is Mason’s in Mason’s absence.
In other packs, Delta Crescent for example, the Second is Serafina’s brother. It is assumed he became her Second upon her ascension whereas, in Sutter Butte, the Second battles their way through bloody conflict to take the position and only the Second is given the right of Alpha Challenge.
In River Wolf, we learn Brett does not have one and in Bayou Wolf, we learned Diesel had two wolves he considered able to be Alpha, though neither is described as his Second.
In Salvatore’s pack, Centurions serve a combined position of Second, Hunter and Enforcer. See more about the last two below.
Hunter – In Willow Bend, Hunters serve as a National Guard or Military for the pack as well as a police force and search and rescue. They run routes, check on the health of the pack and defend it. A Senior Hunter (in Willow Bend, this is Owen), serves as a liaison and coordinator for all the Hunters. Hunters tend to be trained by other Hunters—first as apprentices, then as journeymen and finally running their own patrols. As Hunters age, they may take positions closer to Willow Bend’s central town, teaching younger Hunters and serving as a local police support for the pack.
In Delta Crescent, Hunters are called Hounds. In the Yukon, they are called Sentries. In Seven Hills, they are Centurions. In Hudson River, it was a Hunter who betrayed Brett and murdered several pack mates.
Healer — A pack may have one or multiple Healers, though usually not more than three and, sometimes, the Healers are different levels. A senior Healer will take the responsibility for training apprentice and journeymen healers. In Willow Bend, Emma is the senior Healer. Gillian Chase was her apprentice and later becomes a journeyman. As Gillian excelled, she took on more responsibilities—currently, assisting Hudson River as they have no healer save for a Trent, a twelve year old who is still learning.
Healers stand outside the pack structure in as much as they can override the Alpha in matters of health (a strong and competent Alpha will always listen to their counsel) and they are very precious to the pack. Emma is a dominant wolf, but Gillian is a submissive, save when it comes to matters of caring for others.
As stated, Hudson River no longer has a healer after Hatcher’s death in Wolf Claim. In Delta Crescent they are called Traiteurs, and little is known about the healers in the Yukon and Sutter Butte, though they were mentioned in Bayou Wolf.
Enforcers – Enforcers are totally outside of the packs as they are comprised of Lone Wolves and serve to defend all of the packs and to enforce the laws of the five packs in as much as it keeps them all safe. They do not interfere in battles between packs, save to protect the innocent and defenseless while also overseeing Lone Wolves (more on that in a minute). We met our first Enforcer, Margo, in Wolf Bite who later had her own book in Rogue Wolf. Julian is the Chief Enforcer for North America and has made a few appearances in the series.
Lone Wolves – When a wolf chooses to leave a pack but doesn’t want to join another, they have the option of going Lone Wolf. They usually cannot live in pack territory, and they are not allowed to mate or reveal themselves to humans. If they violate the laws, they can be killed. All Enforcers were previously Lone Wolves. A wolf may go Lone for many reasons. When we met Mason in Wolf Bite, he was a Lone Wolf, and his friendship with Brett dates back to when Mason first went Lone Wolf.
In River Wolf, we also meet Brett’s best friend and former pack mate, Luc Danes, a Lone Wolf.
This turned out to be a lot longer than I intended, but for those of you new to the Wolves of Willow Bend it’s a good overview. There are many other wolves and humans in the packs who are just regular, every day wolves—teachers, mechanics, architects and more.
Other Books in the Wolves of Willow Bend Series
Book 1 is available HERE
Book 2 is available HERE
About Heather Long:
National bestselling author, Heather Long, likes long walks in the park, science fiction, superheroes, Marines, and men who aren’t douche bags. Her books are filled with heroes and heroines tangled in romance as hot as Texas summertime. From paranormal historical westerns to contemporary military romance, Heather might switch genres, but one thing is true in all of her stories—her characters drive the books. When she’s not wrangling her menagerie of animals, she devotes her time to family and friends she considers family. She believes if you like your heroes so real you could lick the grit off their chest, and your heroines so likable, you’re sure you’ve been friends with women just like them, you’ll enjoy her worlds as much as she does.