A Paranormal Women's Fiction / Shifter Romance Novella
Date to be Published: November 17, 2023
Publisher: Changeling Press
Discover the power of true love in this spellbinding tale of magic and adventure.
All Amara wants is to live a life of adventure, without being tied down. With the dark fae relentlessly pursuing her, she needs a place to hide. Her gram’s cottage seems like the perfect spot, but the old witch’s words leave Amara unsettled -- What you seek is in Cutter’s Creek.
Alpha bear shifter Hale is determined to safeguard those closest to him. His life takes an unexpected turn when he crosses paths with a captivating witch. Enchanted by her very presence, he’s unable to banish her from his thoughts.
As destiny ties them together, not even the dark fae will destroy their newfound happiness.
Uncover the magic in this fast-paced, insta-love story that’s sure to warm your heart.
Publisher’s Note: Bewitched by the Bear is based on the previously published short story Ruby and the Bear. Bewitched has been expanded and is now twice the length of the original story, complete with a new ending and steamier scenes. No cheating and a guaranteed happily ever after!
Lunar Cycle’s dance floor cleared the moment the wolf and the bear began circling one another. Hale Klein watched as his cousin, Duncan Hunt, flexed his claws in his partially shifted wolf state. It took a hell of a lot of anger to hold a partial shift, and Hale figured Duncan had to be running on pure rage. He had to admit, he had it coming. Hale didn’t know what had come over him since losing his father, but something inside him had twisted. He’d taken a lucrative business of being a security consultant and warped it. For years, he’d been a gun for hire, for the right price, regardless of whether he was fighting on the side of good or bad. But as his cousin faced him, fighting for the place of alpha within the pack, he realized perhaps he’d gone too far. His hold, at first, had been tenuous, as the adopted son of the rightful alpha.
This fight wasn’t pointless, exactly, but Hale could think of better things to fight over -- no woman was worth bloodshed. Not that’d he’d wanted Marissa. It was more that Duncan had wanted her, and suddenly she’d become the most attractive of women to Hale. He loved rubbing his cousin’s nose in his alpha status, but this time, he’d overstepped. Even he could admit it to himself at any rate. Tricking Marissa into his bed and then tossing her aside like yesterday’s garbage might not have been the best of plans. In his defense, she’d been eager enough. If she’d truly loved Duncan, she would have never strayed.
Looking back, Hale had to say that he wasn’t proud of himself. As he’d gotten to know Marissa, he’d realized what a sweet girl she was, and she truly hadn’t deserved what Hale had done to her. Even still, her heart hadn’t completely belonged to Duncan. Hale had to wonder if she’d only accepted his cousin because of his status in the pack. Either way, was it really Hale’s fault she’d run away? Duncan seemed to think so.
“Your reign over the Silver Crescent Pack is at an end,” Duncan growled through his shifted snout. “It’s time for justice to come to our lands.”
And you think you’re the wolf for the job? Hale taunted telepathically. No one had been able to beat him in the seventy years he’d been on this earth -- what wolf could beat a bear? -- and definitely not in the twenty years he’d held the position of alpha. What made his cousin think today would be any different?
“It’s time for a wolf to rule the wolves.” Duncan snapped his jaws.
Duncan lunged at him, arms opening wide, claws brandished like the weapons they were. Hale was bulky in his current form, but he also had power the wolf couldn’t hope to match. Rising to his hind feet, Hale towered over his cousin. Swiping out with a paw, he caught Duncan right across the cheek, his claws sliding into the wolf’s skin like butter, leaving three perfect slashes.
The wolf howled in outrage, twisting to come at Hale once more. Before the bear could scramble out of the way, the wolf’s claws embedded in his sides, leaving gouges in his tough hide. Hale snarled and broke free, spinning to immediately launch another attack at his cousin. As his massive bear paws arced through the air, his cousin charged.
Hale braced himself for the impact, claws aimed right for his cousin’s flanks, their razor-sharp points digging into meat and muscle. Duncan howled in outrage again, this time falling to his knees before the bear. Hale didn’t want to kill his cousin. He only wanted to prove a point. Opening his jaws wide, he fitted his mouth around Duncan’s neck, forcing the other shifter to his hands and knees in supplication. Hale growled long and low, not stopping until Duncan whimpered in defeat.
Backing away from his whipped cousin, Hale shifted back to his human form. Towering over the shifter now covered in wounds, Hale flexed his muscles, ignoring the twinge in his sides from his open wounds, and kept his gaze steady as he stared down at Duncan.
“Are we done?” he asked.
Duncan changed back to his fully human form and nodded. “We’re done.”
“I’m sorry Marissa ran away, Duncan, and I’m sorry for taking her from you. But there is no way that woman was your mate. If she was, she wouldn’t have fallen into bed with me so easily. She would have fought to be by your side, not caring whether or not the alpha was interested in her. All she wanted was power, despite her sweet nature. Females are all the same. They want the strongest in the pack, unless they find their true-mate. Then no other male will do.”
“You don’t know that she wasn’t --”
“Yes, I do. And if you think about it, you’ll realize it too. Since you’re worse off than I am, I’ll let you see the healer first. Get your wounds tended and go home.”
Shaking his head in disgust, Hale turned, grabbed his shredded clothes off the floor, and made his way through the crowd and outside the club. It wouldn’t be the first time he’d driven home naked, and he doubted it would be the last. There would always be someone wanting to challenge him, someone thinking they were bigger, tougher. It hurt that his cousin had been the one to instigate a fight with him. They’d fought over the years, but it had always been more like sibling rivalry, not a to-the-death fight over being alpha.
Hale dug his keys out of his pants pocket and slid into the large truck in the parking lot. As the door slammed shut, he tossed his clothing on the passenger’s seat and put his key into the ignition. The engine turned over and he backed out of the space, then pulled out of the lot. He knew he should just head home, to the alpha’s house in town, and call it a night, but he wanted solitude, time to think, time to regroup. Being the alpha meant he had an open-door policy, ensuring his pack could come to him for whatever they needed regardless of the time. Change was coming. He could feel it in the air, and he wasn’t certain if it was the good kind or the bad kind.
About the Author
Jessica Coulter Smith is an acclaimed romance writer with a passion for storytelling. Her works showcase the power of love and its ability to transcend boundaries, capturing the hearts of audiences worldwide. With a unique writing style and perspective, Jessica continues to inspire and entertain readers from all walks of life.
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