Cover Artist: Deranged Doctor Designs
Release Date: January 19, 2017
Elizabeth "Liz" Frost has always been the wild one. But now, with a niece or nephew on the way and her promise to become half of the new psychic Oracle team for the Blood Ravagers Biker Gang, she's ready to turn over a new leaf. And what better way to start than by answering the call when gang leader Dante needs help? Her mission: to travel cross-country to get the information the gang needs to complete the Oracle Binding Ceremony. Should be easy, right? Except for the incredibly tempting lone-wolf shifter named Dex who'll be her riding partner and protector on the journey.
Dexter "Dex" MacCallahan is tasked with guarding Liz Frost, one of the gang's beautiful and bewildering new psychics. Dex can't refuse the mission, but there's one small problem. The time of his Rut is approaching, a rare occurrence where male wolf-shifters must physically bond with their chosen mate or face certain insanity and death. It could cost him not only the new life he's built, but also his battered, scarred heart.
Together, Dex and Liz must search for the information they need before his old nemesis and a rival gang annihilates all they hold dear. But when the simmering chemistry between them boils over into searing hot passion, will they risk losing their hearts to save the ones they love?
The Blood Ravagers Series
Book 1: Blood Bound
Book 2: Blood Freed
Book 3: Blood Vowed - coming soon
“He’s up to something,” Dex MacCallahan said from seat at a private table in the far back corner of Seven. The rough-hewn wooden walls of the bar were covered with rusted tin signs and buzzing, crooked neon lights. The floors were sticky with spilled drinks and food and gods knew what else. He wasn’t used to seeing the place from this vantage point. Usually he was behind the bar, mixing drinks, or back in the kitchen cooking. Behind the scenes was where Dex felt most comfortable these days. Still, when Dante called—the gang’s leader and one of his few friends—Dex had no choice but to answer. He owed the man his life, after all. “I don’t trust that priest any farther than I could throw him.”
“For once, I agree with the beast.’ Reverend Walker said, straddling the chair across from Dex, his tattered black cowboy hat pulled low over his eyes and his well-worn duster coat swirling around him like a cape. Normally, wolf shifters like Dex detested bloodsuckers like Rev and avoided them like most vamps avoided the sun. Unfortunately, Dante had promoted Rev to head of gang security a few months back and seeing as how Dex was Dante’s closest confidant, there wasn’t much point in avoiding the bloodsucker these days. No matter how pleasant the thought.
“We don’t even know where the old man comes from,” Rev said. “He could be a Council spy.”
“Word has it you’re the Council spy, bloodsucker,” Dex said before taking a swig of his whiskey. “Seems you fit that bill pretty nicely.”
“Watch yourself, beast.” Rev growled, gripping the edge of the table so tight it splintered under the strain. “You know nothing about me.”
“That’s the fucking problem. No one has any record of you before you showed up here,” Dex countered.
“Don’t go there, beast. Especially with your heritage. I know far more about your past than you would ever want revealed.”
Hackles raised to full-attack mode, Dex squeezed his shot glass hard enough to shatter it. Glass shards sliced deep into his palm, but he barely noticed. Twenty years he’d run, twenty years he’d spent building a new identity, a new life separate from the old betrayals and still they haunted him. Warm blood trickled through his clenched fist. Through a haze of rage, he didn’t miss the twitch of a small muscle in Rev’s cheek, the dilation of his pupils to all but obliterate the icy blue irises of his eyes.
The air around them all but sizzled with strife.
“Honestly, boys. Fighting at a time like this?” Liz joined them, her presence somehow banishing the tension immediately. Funny how her arrival always seemed to calm Dex, no matter how far into the red-zone he slipped.
“She is right,” Dante said. “If what the priest said is true, then we have much bigger issues to deal with.”
From somewhere outside, an eardrum-splitting howl rattled the walls of Seven and all eyes snapped to the front entrance again. There were several werewolf packs roaming the area surrounding Salvation, but none of the alphas dared show their faces around here. Most assumed it was out of deference to Dante, but Dex knew the truth. No self-respecting wolf shifter would be caught dead within a hundred feet of his tainted lineage. Tonight, however, it seemed someone was making an exception.
Weapons at the ready, every gang member waited for the attack that seemed imminent. Dex did his best to keep the old horrors surging through his system under control. Eyes squeezed shut, he battled a wave of flashbacks and fought to keep his shit together. Images of a night long ago, his father, the secret meeting that would change all their lives forever…
We must be ready. For next time…
His father’s last words to him slithered through his mind like a poisonous snake.
Oddly, as fast as the howling outside had started, it dissipated.
Slowly, the gang members relaxed. Dante continued to stare at the entrance, as if trying to burn a hole through it with his intense gaze. His open-door policy for Seven had remained peaceful for about two months. Then a few rival otherworld gangs had moved into the area, testing the Blood Ravagers borders around Salvation, hoping for a shot to overthrow them and take over where Basher and the other Council-sanctioned hatemongers had left off.
Rev removed his cowboy hat and scrubbed a hand through his shoulder-length, scruffy black hair. “I still don’t know how they keep getting through the wards and enchantments around the perimeter.”
“Unless they have help,” Dex mumbled. Deep down, he honestly didn’t think Rev was a traitor, but it was fun getting the old guy riled up. Hell, if the rumors were believed, Rev was older than dirt and more lethal than a silver bullet to the brain. Word said he used to work for the Council as a top assassin. Then one day he’d mysteriously left their employ. An all but impossible feat. No one left the Council behind. No one.
He, of all people, should know.
“For the last time, beast. I. Am. Not. A. Traitor.” Rev snarled.
“Tell it to the Council.” Dex said, his claws unsheathing for battle. Seemed a day wasn’t complete without the two of them going for each other’s jugular at least once. “They seem to consider you otherwise.”
“Don’t speak to me of the Council, beast. Tell me again how your father was their lapdog, doing their bidding?”
“He was never their lapdog.”
“Not what I heard.”
“Enough!” Dante glared at them both before striding to the bar and grabbing a fresh bottle of scotch. He unscrewed the lid then took several long gulps before setting it down again in the center of their small wooden table. “At this point it does not matter how the intruders got in. The point is they did and we need to fix the holes in our security, sooner rather than later.”
“What about the missing information the priest mentioned for the ceremony?” Liz asked. “The gang won’t be secure until Anna and I complete the ceremony, right?”
Dex took a deep breath and slumped in his seat. Beneath the overhead lights of Seven, the wild-child half of their new Oracle looked pale and small and shaken to her core, no matter how brave she tried to act. He itched to pull her into his arms and keep her safe from all harm. Which was ridiculous. He’d long ago come to terms with the fact he was destined to live his life alone. Alone was safer. Alone meant security. Besides, he didn’t deserve happiness or affection after the travesty that had occurred in his father’s pack.
A loud hiccup sounded through the room and they all turned to look at the drunken priest tipping precariously on his stool, now three-sheets-to-the-wind at the bar.
Dante sighed. “There must be another way to get the information.”
Dex exhaled slow and frowned down at his bottle of beer. Uncomfortable as stepping out into the limelight made him, he felt obligated to mention what he knew. After all, he considered this gang, these people, his adopted family. Dante had taken him in when no one else would, and for that he would protect them all with what was left of his worthless life. “I might know a way to get the information we need.”
“How?” Rev scowled. “You never step foot outside this place.”
“Yeah, how?” Liz crossed her arms, interest lighting her pretty face.
Truth was, in the two decades after his father’s demise at the hands of the Council and his pack had been scattered to the four winds, Dex had roamed the earth, visited every cesspool of humanity, all in the hopes of making amends. There weren’t many places around the globe where he hadn’t made connections. But it had taken him years to accept that some broken things could never be repaired. Not to mention the same traitorous blood that had run through his father’s veins, also pumped through his. There was no getting around that, no escaping it. He lived in constant fear of repeating his father’s mistakes.
Still, he felt compelled to answer. “There is a creature legend says holds the key to all the knowledge of the otherworld,” Dex said, wiping the back of his hand over his mouth before continuing. “They call this creature The Historian.”
“Legend is right,” Dante said, grabbing his wife’s hand as she passed by and pulling Anna into his side. “No one has seen this thing in decades. Even if it does still exist, our chances of finding it are remote at best.”
“Great,” Liz said, her tone flat. “How are we supposed get the missing details for the ceremony then? Ask crusty old Father Time back there?”
The priest snorted and raised his glass to her with a shaky hand.
“The chances are remote, yes,” Dante said. “But not impossible. We must send out a search party before our rivals decided to attack. The trip will be dangerous, though, with our enemies most likely stalking our every move.”
Dex glanced at Liz, the sinking feeling in his stomach intensifying. His wolf instincts gave him a pretty good idea what was zinging around inside that beautiful head of hers. She was about to do something radical and chances were high he wasn’t going to like it.
“I volunteer,” she said. “To go on the mission.”
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Traci is a USA Today Bestselling Author of Contemporary and Paranormal Romance. Her stories feature sizzling heroes full of dark humor, quick wits and major attitudes and heroines who are smart, tenacious, and always give as good as they get. She holds an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University and she loves animals, chocolate, coffee, hot British actors, and sarcasm—not necessarily in that order.
Website and blog: http://www.tracidouglass.net
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Traci-Douglass/e/B00AX4X9DS/
Newsletter Sign-Up: http://tracidouglass.net/author-newsletter/