When Lara Jameson’s employer transferred her from Orlando, Florida, to Boston, Massachusetts, moving wasn’t as simple as just finding an apartment. As a werewolf, Lara also had to transfer to a new pack. And when she met Chal Torres, the Alpha of City Pack in Boston, she knew she had found not only a new pack but her mate. Chal Torres has resisted love since a dominance fight shortly after he was changed resulted in the death of the woman he believed he loved. Now, as Alpha of the largest pack in the United States, he allows no one close to him out of fear they might be used against him. But when Chal meets Lara and recognizes her as his mate, his resistance is no match for the call of the mate bond and of his heart. As Chal and Lara begin to build their relationship, Chal lets down his guard. But an attack on Lara during the pack’s hunt night and the reveal of a plot within the pack to take down Chal as Alpha lead Chal to begin putting up those walls again. Will he let Lara in, or will his fear end their relationship before it truly starts?
Give us the one to two sentence tagline for your book.
When werewolf Lara Jameson meets her new Alpha, Chal Torres, they each recognize each other as mates. But is Chal willing to overcome the pain of his past to claim Lara?
What is your favorite scene/moment in your book?
Lara and Chal’s first date. Chal is a very stern, serious type of person, but as he and Lara walk down the sidewalk, he says something that is so out of character for the Alpha Lara’s gotten to know that it’s completely hilarious. When I was writing that scene, I didn’t even consciously decide to write that bit of dialogue; it just kind of happened. Which is my favorite way to write.
How do you use magic in your book?
My characters are werewolves. In my universe, magic is inherent in being a werewolf: the shifting, the mind-to-mind communication between an Alpha and their pack or between mates, and various other components of the werewolf world all rely on and are fueled by magic. It isn’t something they consciously use; it’s just the way things are.
Would your hero enjoy pumpkin spice lattes, candy corn, or apple bobbing?
Knowing Chal, he would be completely uninterested in any of those. Though if Lara encouraged him to try a pumpkin spice latte, he probably would.
What costume would your heroine wear to a halloween party?
Lara has a slightly odd sense of humor, so she would probably dress as a wolf.
What scene did you adore writing in this book?
The first date scene that I mention above. It was just a lot of fun to write, especially since it’s Chal’s first “real” date even though he’s over a century old!
Is this book a spooky/scary PNR, or a cozy/snuggling with a monster PNR?
Somewhere in between. There are scary parts, though the fear is more psychological than anything, but since it’s about my hero and heroine accepting that they’re mates, there is some snuggling.
What is your favorite monster to write?
Werewolves, hands down.
If you had to pick, would you rather have fangs, claws, or wings?
Probably wings. I’ve no interest in fighting; I’d rather fly.
Halloween’s coming. Do you do anything special to celebrate?
No. I haven’t really done anything for Halloween since my kids were in middle school; they’re now 27 and 24 years old, so it’s been a while. Even when I was going to Halloween parties or at least handing out candy, I refused to wear costumes; it just didn’t resonate for me.
“Did I cross a line?” Lara asked.
“Not at all,” he said. “It’s difficult for me to talk about, but you deserve to hear. It isn’t anything about you. I’m an Alpha. Having a mate is more complicated for me.”
He suspected she was aware that wasn’t the truth behind his sadness. For now, she accepted the explanation. “You can’t afford your attention being divided,” she said.
“Yes. Among our kind, particularly older wolves, love is considered weakness. Some Alphas refuse their mates so they won’t be perceived as easily conquered. Others refuse in order to protect their mates from being used as leverage in a conflict.” He touched a piece of bacon on his plate without picking it up. “No one has challenged me since I gained control of this pack. Conceivably, no one will. On the other hand, if I claim my mate, it may be interpreted as my being too weak to rule City Pack. I can’t compromise my rank or my pack.”
Her sadness grew, overpowering his own. She’d anticipated more from this discussion. An admission of who they were to each other, if not acceptance.
At the sight of her tears, he flinched. He caught her hand in his. “Lara, this isn’t because I don’t want you. I’m trying to protect you.”
“Isn’t that up to me?” she demanded. “You have the right to decide for yourself. Don’t I have the same right?”
“You do.” He struggled to find the right words to get through to her. This was why he’d refused to accept her and had tried to avoid this discussion. The intensity of his feelings for her took away his capacity for thought. “And you don’t. Emotionally, it’s your decision. It isn’t only about emotions. When I say you could be used against me, I’m not talking about others’ opinions of me. Those don’t matter. They might literally harm you to get to me.”
“You need to protect your pack,” she said bitterly.
“I need to protect you,” he said, fighting to restrain his own anger. A blatant display of her profound effect on him wouldn’t lead to this going any more smoothly. “Yes, you are part of my pack. That isn’t my sole reason for protecting you, and you know it.”
Fear briefly flashed in her eyes. “I’m sorry.”
“No.” He forced his tension to ebb. “No, I’m sorry. Lara, I don’t want you to be afraid of me.”
“Then why are you afraid of yourself?” Eyes wide, she clapped her hand over her mouth.
Caught off-guard, for a moment, he could think of no reply
Karenna Colcroft lives just north of Boston, Massachusetts, and has been in love with the city since childhood, though she has yet to encounter any werewolves, vampires, or other paranormal beings in her travels. At least none that she knows of. Though since in her non-writing life, under another name, she offers services as a channel and energy healing practitioner, it could be said that she herself is a paranormal being. The jury’s still out on that.
Karenna is a polyamorous, nonbinary human who splits time between the home she shares with her husband and the one she shares with her committed partner. She also has two adult children and a bonus son, three grandchildren, and two and a half cats. (Half in terms of time the cat lives with her, not in terms of the cat itself…)
Find out more about Karenna online at http://www.karennacolcroft.com or https://www.facebook.com/KarennaColcroft. You can also sign up to receive a free short story, and be added to Karenna’s mailing list, at https://karennacolcroft.com/get-your-free-short-story/.