Rise to Embrace [Rise of the Changelings, Book 3] (Siren Publishing Epic Romance, ManLove)

BOOK: Rise to Embrace [Rise of the Changelings, Book 3] (Siren Publishing Epic Romance, ManLove)
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Rise of the Changelings, Book 3

 

Rise to Embrace

 

When Lieutenant Commander John Freedman called in his favors, Ryan Deluca and Kenneth Brooke of Special Forces answered. But when Freedman asks Deluca and Brooke to track down Enrique Marcelo and make sure he isn't killed, they are baffled. John Freedman is the leader of the Death Squad, out to exterminate the nonhumans, and Enrique is at the top of their list.

 

Willow Toreno lives with her changeling coyote pack deep in the Smoky Mountains. Alpha Garrett tells her they are having guests and she is to see to their needs. Even though she hates Garrett with every breath she takes, Willow is not foolish enough to disobey.

 

But what she hadn't expected was to find two human males who spark a fire deep within her soul. They call to her beast, making Willow tempt fate. There is just one small problem. Garrett kills anyone who mates outside their coyote pack.

 

When Willow is forced to the detention center, it’s up to Brooke and Deluca to get her out. The stakes grow higher when the men learn Willow’s dark and agonizing secret.

 

NOTE! You are purchasing Siren's newest imprint, the Siren Epic Romance collection. This is Book 3 of 7 in the Rise of the Changelings series. The series shares an overall story arc with many crossover characters playing major roles in each book. These books are not stand-alone and should be read in their numbered order.

 

Genre:
Alternative (M/M or F/F), Paranormal, Vampires/Werewolves

 

Length:
75,075 words

 

RISE TO EMBRACE

 

 

 

 

Rise of the Changelings, Book 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lynn Hagen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SIREN EPIC ROMANCE,

 

MANLOVE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Siren Publishing, Inc.

 

www.SirenPublishing.com

 

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A SIREN PUBLISHING BOOK

 

IMPRINT: Siren Epic Romance, ManLove

 

 

RISE TO EMBRACE

Copyright © 2013 by Lynn Hagen

E-book ISBN: 978-1-62242-109-1

 

First E-book Publication: March 2013

 

Cover design by Les Byerley

All art and logo copyright © 2013 by Siren Publishing, Inc.

 

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED:
This literary work may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic or photographic reproduction, in whole or in part, without express written permission.

 

All characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.

 

 

PUBLISHER

 

Siren Publishing, Inc.

www.SirenPublishing.com

Letter to Readers

 

 

Dear Readers,

 

 

 

If you have purchased this copy of
Rise to Embrace
by Lynn Hagen from BookStrand.com or its official distributors, thank you. Also, thank you for not sharing your copy of this book.

 

 

 

 

Regarding E-book Piracy

 

 

 

This book is copyrighted intellectual property. No other individual or group has resale rights, auction rights, membership rights, sharing rights, or any kind of rights to sell or to give away a copy of this book.

 

The author and the publisher work very hard to bring our paying readers high-quality reading entertainment.

 

This is Lynn Hagen’s livelihood. It’s fair and simple. Please respect Ms. Hagen’s right to earn a living from her work.

 

Amanda Hilton, Publisher

 

www.SirenPublishing.com

 

www.BookStrand.com

 

 

 

RISE TO EMBRACE

 

Rise of the Changelings, Book 3

 

 

 

 

LYNN HAGEN

 

Copyright © 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter One

 

 

 

“Did he say when he was going to meet us?” Deluca asked. “Sunset isn't too far off, and I don’t want to be caught out here after dark.”

Rick agreed. “Garrett said he would find us once we made it here.” Rick didn't like the idea that the alpha would
find
them. He already didn’t trust the coyotes.

“We’re wasting time,” Howard, Dorian’s father, said from a few feet away. “Lillian has already been gone long enough. She’s human. I’m not even sure they would take her to the detention center. Since Graham betrayed us, there is no telling where she is.”

“We are a few hours from the detention center in Ohio, Howard. I promise you that as soon as we are done here, we will be heading there. But you know that as soon as we free the changelings, all hell is going to break loose. I would rather have rebels on my side, helping us, than try to handle the guards with just a handful of people. If shit goes south, we are going to need as many people as we can get.”

Rick’s head snapped up. At the same time, Deluca and Brooke pulled their guns from their holsters. Everyone in Rick’s group glanced around.

It seemed the meeting was about to take place with the werecoyotes. Rick just hated that it was so close to sunset. He did not want to be in the Great Smoky Mountains after dark. From his understanding, Garrett had a pretty large pack. If the man decided to turn him in instead of helping Rick, they would be sorely outnumbered. He had wanted to leave the others behind while he met with Garrett, but Deluca had made a point. No one would be safe if they split up.

Rick didn’t like bringing everyone along, but his gut was telling him not to separate, not while they were so close to the detention center.

“Alpha Enrique Marcelo of the Shelton werewolf changeling pack.”

Rick moved closer to Dorian, grabbing his mate’s hand. “Alpha Garrett Simone of the Smoky Mountain werecoyote changeling pack,” Rick replied. He still couldn’t see anyone, but the smell of coyote changelings was so strong it was stifling. Did the man bring his entire pack? Edward, Isabelle, Miguel, Benito, Mason, and Omar, the changelings with Rick, glanced at him. They must be thinking the same thing. Miguel and Benito came down off of the boulder they had been standing on and hurried toward Rick.

Rick thought the juveniles were looking for shelter from the sheer numbers surrounding them, but Rick could see the scowls on their faces. They meant to protect him and Dorian. Both juveniles stood in front of Rick and Dorian, their stance rigid.

Edward grabbed Isabelle and walked over to Mason, the jaguar changeling, and Omar, the werewolf changeling. All four stood together, sniffing the air.

Edward’s and Isabelle’s lives were tied to one another. Rick was very protective of the two. She was also with child. If shit got funky, Rick would die protecting the mated pair.

“There are too many,” Benito warned under his breath. “If they attack, I’m not too sure we can make it out of here.”

“Just stay calm.” Rick laid his free hand on Benito’s shoulder. It not only gave the juvenile comfort, but the touch told Benito that Rick was right there for him.

“You look well,” Garrett called out. “I’m glad to see no harm has befallen you.”

“Are we going to meet face-to-face, or yell through the forest?” Rick asked. He didn’t like the games Garrett was playing. It made Rick feel like prey, and Rick was anything but.

Deluca and Brooke raised their guns as Garrett cleared the trees, walking toward them with a frown on his face. “You have two humans pointing guns at me in my own territory?”

They glanced Rick’s way, and he gave a slight nod. Brooke and Deluca lowered their guns, but didn’t look too pleased about having to do so. Six men followed Garrett, and Rick was just as edgy as the human soldiers. He didn’t like feeling overwhelmed or trapped. There was no way Rick would have thought that Garrett was arrogant enough to bring forces with him. It didn’t make any sense. There were a hell of a lot more men hiding in the trees. Rick could smell them.

They were just supposed to meet, but Garrett was acting as if Rick had come to harm him. He knew dealing with the coyotes was iffy. There was a fifty-fifty chance the man would turn him in. But Rick was looking for as many changelings as he could to help in the rebellion he was leading.

“Better?” Rick asked, still feeling on edge.

“Much,” Garrett replied. “If I wanted any of you harmed, we wouldn’t be talking right now.”

That did not put Rick at ease. If anything, the polite threat made his hackles rise. For one, Rick was a very powerful alpha. He was only rivaled by Sasha Monroe, the wereleopard changeling to the south of Shelton. Rick was so powerful and influential that the government had decided to get rid of him because they knew he would not sit back and allow the changeling species to be destroyed.

Secondly, Rick did not like to be threatened. He was not one to back down from any confrontation. But he gritted his teeth and just stood there. Not because he was outnumbered, but because the people he cared about were outnumbered.

Garrett waved his hand toward the woods, giving Rick a polite smile. He didn't trust that smile. “We can go back to my domain and discuss this.”

Rick glanced around, looking off into the trees and then gave Garrett a polite smile in return. He could keep up the act just as long as Garrett didn’t try anything. “Why, Garrett? It seems your entire pack is here with you.”

Garrett laughed. “Very perceptive. But no, the entire pack is not here. Only a large number have accompanied me. But do you blame me, Alpha Enrique? The government is determined to kill you. This makes you a very wanted man. Any alpha worth his salt would surmise that this also means you are too powerful and the government fears you.”

Rick wasn’t sure what the man was up to. “It could just mean that I’ve killed too many people. I’m labeled a cop killer and am being blamed for the massacre that killed ten humans, along with the bombing in Georgia. I’m also wanted for killing a dean at that very same college. They could be after me just on those allegations alone.”

Garrett waved Rick’s words away. “Only a fool would believe those allegations. You no more blew that college up or killed those ten humans than you killed that cop.”

“And what makes you think this?” Rick asked, trying to feel the alpha out. There was something about this changeling that didn’t set well with Rick.

A gleam sparked in Garrett’s eyes, and a smile curled the side of his lips upward. “Because, Enrique, if you killed that detective, no one would have found the body and they never would have suspected you.”

“My reputation precedes me.”

Garrett shook his head as he moved closer. Rick immediately placed Dorian behind him. A rough growl started rumbling in Miguel and Benito’s chest. Mason, Deluca, and Brooke positioned themselves closer to the werecoyote alpha. It was a smart strategy. They knew they were outnumbered, so the only way out alive was to capture the alpha. Rick saw Edward pull Isabelle behind him, and for once, she didn’t fight her mate about being handled like a juvenile.

Howard moved next to Dorian.

Omar placed himself next to Benito.

Rick was surprised Omar was willing to protect him. The man had not been chosen as Rick’s mate. Omar had betrayed him. The werewolf changeling had been knocked down to juvenile status, which for changelings was the greatest insult after proving their place in the pack.

“Your reputation is what has me bringing more than enough coyotes to this meeting.” It almost sounded as if Garrett hated to admit his caution. Rick knew the man did. Any alpha knew not to show weakness, especially not in front of another alpha.

Rick returned the smile and he knew it wasn’t friendly. “You are safe, Garrett.”

Garrett snarled as his dark topaz eyes narrowed at Rick. The tension grew thick all around them and Rick had an urge to scan the forest again, but wouldn’t break eye contact with the coyote changeling alpha.

“How dare you.”

“I’m not here to start a fight with you, Alpha Garrett. I came to talk about us joining forces.” Rick had to defuse the situation, even if he wanted to forget dealing with these deceitful creatures and get his people out of there.

The Smoky Mountains were a place of true beauty, but some of the inhabitants were less than desirable.

“Come back to our small compound and we’ll talk.” Garrett turned and began to walk away.

“I don’t trust him,” Miguel whispered as he glared in Garrett’s direction.

“He doesn’t smell right,” Benito added. “Are you sure we should follow him?”

Rick noticed that Garrett’s scent was off. He couldn’t smell deceit, but he also couldn’t smell agreement. The man walked through the forest, and Rick knew he had to make a decision before the alpha disappeared.

“We need as many people on our side as we can possibly get,” he admitted.

“But these werecoyotes don’t seem as committed as Clyde was,” Dorian pointed out.

Clyde had been a werebear. He had told Rick that he and his mate were adamant about saving lives in this war. That loyalty had not only cost Clyde his apartment when the building was burnt to the ground by a group of mercenary changelings who were fighting on the government’s side, but five human lives as well.

Garrett made no comment about where his loyalties lay. This could be a trap. But then again, maybe Garrett was waiting for Rick to explain to him what was going on before he decided which side he was on.

Rick wasn’t sure. He remembered something that had been repeated to him twice already on his travels.
Not all are what they appear to be.

Rick prayed Garrett wasn’t deceiving them, because he was about to take those he treasured most into the man’s den
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BOOK: Rise to Embrace [Rise of the Changelings, Book 3] (Siren Publishing Epic Romance, ManLove)
9.87Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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