Lone wolf Donovan Wilde barely acknowledged his McKenna family legacy until Laurel Newkirk found him in the deep Wisconsin woods. Laurel claimed to have had a relationship with 'Donovan Wilde,' but this Donovan was stronger, sexier than the impostor who ran out on her. Suddenly Donovan finds himself yearning not only for love, but when his father is attacked, for family. He finally might be ready to be a McKenna, but would his family welcome him now? Would the impostor ruin it all for him by killing the woman he loved?
Twenty years before
Moonlight scattered shadows across the narrow path as he thrashed his way through the ice-encrusted woods, but he was heedless of threat, knowing only that he had to get away. Had to. He wouldn’t go anywhere with Raymond McKenna again, wouldn’t call the man Father anymore, no matter what Mom said. He would hide from them both until the imposter returned alone to Chicago as he always did — to his real kids — hopefully for good this time.
He ran until his narrow chest burned.
Until sweat slicked his skin beneath the parka.
Until his legs pumped his boots right through the crust, landing him in nearly two feet of snow.
Sides heaving, he gasped for breath. Eyes wide, he gazed at the surrounding territory, foreign and forbidding. Skeletal trees loomed overhead, ice-cloaked limbs outstretched like bony arms waiting to entrap him.
The ghostly sound out of nowhere — and everywhere — spurred him to get up. The cloying white powder devoured his legs with each step, only allowed him inches instead of feet. Should have taken his snowshoes, but then he wouldn’t have gone so fast.
He didn’t recognize a thing, had never actually been alone in the woods before. Mom was gonna kill him. If she found him. He swallowed hard. How many miles from the road? Might as well be a zillion as a couple.
His chest squeezed tighter.
He was lost...
Not that he wanted to go back. Not with him there. He wasn’t afraid, definitely not afraid. He was starting to get cold. His teeth began to chatter and his skin pebbled against his damp clothes. Snow still enveloped his legs, and now a burst of wind slapped at his bare face.
Instinct drove him further from the path, his goal a fallen, burned tree, a victim of lightning. The woods were closing in on him. Whispers creeping along his spine. The forest talking to him.
Chiding him for being so foolish.
Maybe no one would ever find him.
Maybe he’d freeze to death.
From the shadowy forest slipped a menacing figure, little more than a silhouette against the luminous snow: a four-footed creature with shaggy black fur and glowing yellow eyes.
The breath caught in his throat as he stared.
The nose was too prominent. The legs too long and thin. No dog he’d ever seen had eyes like that.
So why wasn’t he afraid?
Renewed courage filling him, gaze steady on the mesmerizing yellow eyes, he hunkered down and held out his hand to the black wolf.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Patricia Rosemoor has had 99 titles with 8 publishers and more than 7 million books in print. Patricia won a Golden Heart from Romance Writers of America and two Reviewers Choice and two Career Achievement Awards from Romantic Times BOOKreviews, and in her other life, she taught Popular Fiction and Suspense-Thriller Writing at Columbia College Chicago.