Secrets. Desire. Surprise baby.


Curvy Meredith is hiding in plain sight. A gardening teacher for troubled teens, she needs the new owner of the old YWCA building to renew her lease. Her non-profit after school program can’t fund a more expensive location. Steeling herself for a confrontation, she discovers the owner is Liam Conroy, the Alpha Bear whose father was murdered fifteen years ago…


Liam doesn’t know his mate is the daughter of his father’s killer. All he knows is he wants the gentle, courageous beauty—and that she is an answer to a problem plaguing his Den. Only he senses she is hiding something from him, something that could threaten their fledgling matebond.


When he discovers her deception, will he reject her… and their baby?




“Be quiet.” He leaped from the bottom step, clearing the staircase and porch in one powerful thrust of his thighs, landing in front of her with a thud that rivaled an earthquake. She backed into house, banging her head with the force of her retreat.


“Ow,” she exclaimed, rubbing the smarting skin. And began to get angry at him for scaring her. “Either you control your temper, or I’m leaving!” 


She refused to be with a man who thought it was okay to frighten her, or cause her any kind of injury, no matter how small.


Arms caged her on either side as he leaned into her, nose buried in her neck. Teeth sank into her soft flesh, just enough to make a point, not enough to hurt.


“Not going anywhere, Meredith.”


Her voice trembled. “Are you going to make me?”


Silence stretched. He pulled away from her slowly, amber eyes still hot and growly, but giving her space. Choice. She took a deep breath, licking her lips. His eyes fastened on the movement and his chest swelled even further.


“Do you want to know the best way to handle an angry mate?” he asked softly.


Um. . . no? Yes? She watched him warily. “Okay. How?”


He smiled, sharp inhuman incisors gleaming. “Fuck him senseless.”


“You already have no sense,” she muttered, glancing at the erection. Her eyes widened. “Liam, get inside! You aren’t decent.”


Liam folded his arms, the unholy smile in his eyes. “Make me.”


She glared. “Everyone will see—” she waved a hand in his general direction, “—this.”


He didn’t move. Meredith stepped into him, hand wrapping around the twitching cock, squeezing. “Come inside, Liam.”


Reason left his face, smile evaporating as a shudder racked his body. He lifted her, throwing her over his shoulder and ramming through the front door. She could only see the floor— and his firm ass— but she knew he took her to the living room. A moment later he lowered her onto the pile of thick rugs in front of the fireplace. She figured she should be glad he hadn’t just tossed her without regard for the landing.


Strong hands reached for the neck of her blouse, ripping cloth like butter. Buttons scattered as she squeaked. Her jeans and panties were next before he unsnapped the delicate lace bra. She spared a thought to have a moment of indignation— he didn’t care about the plain white blouse, but he took care with the sexy lingerie. What a. . . male.


“Liam, what happened? Talk to me.”


“I don’t want to talk.”


Her hands buried in his hair, holding his head still. He allowed it. “Either you tell me why your mother called me sounding weird—”


“My sister Challenged me.”


Her mouth gaped. “Norelle? What? What does that mean?”


Liam stared down at her, eyes hard as resin chips. “She doesn’t want me to mate you. Says it shames our father. Challenged me for rule of Den.”


Meredith’s eyes closed, dread in the pit of her stomach. She hadn’t seen any blood on him, any injuries. Gwenafar hadn’t sounded too perturbed. . .

“Is she alright?”


He smiled, and Meredith shivered. “She’s learned a lesson. And no one in my Den will Challenge my right to rule— or my right to my mate, again.”


She hesitated, eyes lowering. “Maybe she’s right.”


“Not right,” he said with short, guttural syllables. “Lied to me. Enemy’s daughter. But still my mate. Mine to punish.”