It’s obvious that a woman with the mind of a serial killer and the heart of a kitten in pink mittens would be complicated and incredibly entertaining. Rhys Ford is that, to be sure – but she’s also incredibly generous with her time and encouragement. As a new author I’m just grateful for theoccasional sneak peek she gives me into the very seductive world of her characters (I’m totally team Jae-Min, btw). So I’m doubly privileged that she’s invited me to post a little bit about the novel I co-wrote with Sara York, Prodigal Wolf, released last week by MLR Press.
Prodigal Wolf is the first book in a three book story arc that follows wolf shifter Carlo Montefiore back home to South Carolina from a self-described banishment to one of the finest institutions of higher learning on the west coast. He’s got issues, complaints (valid and otherwise) and he just wants to be left alone. Readers be prepared, Book one in the Wolves & Waves series does not follow formula. There is no easy HEA for Carlo, he’ll have to work at it and this book takes place over three days. Not so much time for peace love and understanding, but enough time to drop a Carlo sized rock into the peaceful pond that is the Montefiore wolf pack and watch the splash. No one is escaping with dry feet here and that’s the fun. –LE
Carlo has a problem, after years away he’s finally returned to his South Carolina roots—but instead of peace and quiet all he’s found are nosy wolves, romancing twinks, an out of control roommate threatening to expose them all, and a demanding Alpha who just won’t go away.
All his Alpha wants is to show Carlo who he really is, and where he belongs. But Carlo Montefiore is a man fighting his instincts, memories, and responsibilities. His beachside home was supposed to provide sanctuary, but pack politics, unruly roommates, and human neighbors at risk of discovering that shifters exist, are making life anything but peaceful. Twinks Kevin and Grady have their own problems. Two college freshmen are no match for a couple of hot wolves who like to play chase. If they don’t stop playing games they’ll miss the biggest thing to happen in their young lives—love.
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And now, an excerpt from Prodigal Wolf: Book One of Wolves and Waves
by LE Franks & Sara York
Joey rolled over, burrowing under the covers and pulling the pillow over his head. Stupid wolf hearing. The problem with wolves was that no one had invented soundproofing strong enough to block out the sound of Carlo one floor below. Not even seven in the morning and already Carlo was pacing and spitting and swearing and waking up the house. Well maybe not the entire house, there wasn’t any sign that Ted had stirred next door. The cute blond was always quietly obvious in his morning rituals—so very Malibu with his morning yoga and humming, before hitting the beach to catch what little surfing was available. Hmm…such a nice thought, all that blond hair and warm tan skin. Almost enough to get him to roll out of bed and see if Ted was awake; well, “up” anyway…. He rolled over, pressing his hips into the mattress. That he and Ted hadn’t taken their explorations past a casual pet or kiss wasn’t troublesome at all. Ted wasn’t the type he would settle down with, but it wouldn’t hurt to get to know the guy on a deeper level.
All thoughts of early morning activities were driven out by the violent crash below, followed shortly by more swearing and a slamming door. Great. Another visit by Hurricane Carlo; forecast for the day: stormy with little chance of fun.
He lay there, eyes closed, breathing quietly, listening to the silence that had settled on the house. He toyed with the idea of getting in a ride before the sun got too high. This week’s training had done him in with over a hundred miles biked, it was more than enough, and the warm bed proved too tempting. Better make the most of it while I can, were his last thoughts before snuggling deeper under his duvet and slipping out of consciousness.
Joey woke again to the sound of pacing. If Carlo didn’t knock it off soon the world would be short one Alpha-Beta. Joey snickered to himself at the pun. Carlo would hate that. He had to remember to use it at the earliest possible moment. It was the least he could do if the fucker kept this up much longer. A quick glance at the clock revealed it had been a full two hours since the pacing had first woken him at six this morning; that was an activity proscribed by the Geneva Convention.
There would be payback.
The blessing of being a wolf was that Joey could now smell coffee within two minutes of optimum brewing, and Carlo’s cinnamon rolls of rage would soon be out of the oven. Apparently this was one of those baking kind of problems for his Alpha and friend. That could only mean one thing… Angelo.
Joey silently trod downstairs, noting a shattered piece of black plastic in the corner of the room—Carlo’s fit? He turned his attention to the kitchen, spying Carlo at the kitchen sink rinsing an antique bread bowl—shoulders and neck stiff, espresso untouched at his elbow. Ted was seated at the kitchen table working wax into his favorite short board, the muscles of his chest and shoulders flexing agreeably as he worked. It was always a treat to see Ted in his surfer boy finest, all tanned skin and low riding board shorts. Ted smiled sweetly as Joey wandered into the kitchen, a tiny smear of frosting at the corner of his mouth reminding Joey of his earlier thoughts that involved cream but not food.
“Morning Teddy Bear!” Joey teased, licking the sweetness from the man’s face, enjoying the taste of the man as much as the sugary frosting.
“Ass,” grumped Ted lightly before the brief lean of affection revealed his sweet happy nature. Such a stereotype, their California recruit who’d followed Carlo home from college and set up camp at the beach house. He patted Ted’s head before moving into the danger zone and hurricane Carlo’s reach.
“Mornin’ Carlo,” Joey purred into his Alpha’s ear before snagging his own roll.
“Coffee,” Carlo jerked his elbow backwards to the carafe,
Joey’s favorite mug sitting next to it. Nice. At least they were going to reap the benefits of this morning’s bitch-off with the top dog… he snickered under his breath, which was a mistake of epic proportions. Shit.
Carlo rounded on him sharply. “You two need to keep your shit together. We have neighbors again, and I don’t want you fucking around like you always do. I have enough trouble with Beaufort without getting reamed out about ‘inappropriate behaviors that risk exposing us to humans.” Something sounding like ‘fucking prick’ slid just under Joey’s audible range and he ignored it to focus on the more interesting part of Carlo’s speech.
“Neighbors?” Joey lifted his eyebrows, hoping they were cute and not another family of six packing overloaded coolers of disgusting prepackaged meat to the beach for an all day roast- off with kids that shrieked every time a little piece of sand got in their eyes. It would be fine if they were roasting real meat, but usually it was their pale skin that took the brunt of the sun as they forgot to reapply sunscreen. Humans.
“Moving in now, across the way,” Carlo jerked his head towards the stretch of land that separated their house from a complex of holiday condos. The one closest to them was unoccupied most of the year, apparently not part of the whole vacation rental industry that seemed to drive the local island economy.
Joey moved to stand beside him at the sink. “Whoa! Dude!” he threw over his shoulder, “Yagotta check this out—twinkies!!!”
Ted tossed his rag on the board and crowded in to check out the scene. “Sweet!”