"You'd be prettier if you didn't train like a male."
"YOU'D BE A LOT PRETTIER IF YOU DID."
Thirteen Clans. Thirteen Males. One prize.
Winter Jarl is the most notorious female warrior of her species. Her father is chief, and he’s dying, so he’s cashed in on a promise she made long ago: he’s setting her up with an alpha from each of the thirteen clans before she takes over his position.
Sentenced to a year of isolation, she will spend twenty-eight-days alone with each man. By the end of it, Winter must choose one to stand beside her.
The challenge? She must be in love to produce an heir.
Cycle Nine: Breaking Winter
After being violated by magic, Winter lashes out at the new alpha in her home. He pushes and engages her in ways she is not yet ready for. But her wolf won’t let her keep him at arm’s length.
Ash has never reacted to a female like this before, and he doesn’t know what to do when he can’t rely on his usual practices. Trained to be impartial, his instincts scream to protect Winter even though she doesn’t need him for that. But so long as she needs him...
Jump into this intense paranormal erotica now and see who you want to win Winter’s heart.
Comet didn’t seem interested in the quick lesson with the stave, so she simply gestured in front of her.
“No hits below the belt. Try to avoid the nose and eyes.” If you have that kind of control.
He nodded, but she doubted he knew how to fight—to really fight.
A tap of his stick had his attention. Winter paused before she struck, the end of her stave slamming into his gut and doubling him over with an oof.
“What was that? No signal to go?”
“That’s what the tap was for.”
“Ah, fuck, I wasn’t ready.”
Winter rolled her eyes. Someone who knew how to fight knew to pay attention.
When Comet stood again, she tapped his stave. “Ready?”
He took a more composed stance and agreed.
She waited. He struck head on, and Winter dipped away from his blow to slap him across the back and tumble him forward.
And he swore.
“Are you sure you’re playing fair?”
Winter clobbered him another half a dozen times, and he gave her half a dozen excuses to blame her for his losses. When he mumbled about being battered by a lady, she scowled and gave him one last strike upside the head.
This time, he fell. Hard. And the whimper of pain and stillness in his body upturned her attitude. Kneeling beside him, she brushed the waves from his temple and took a look.
A bruise was forming, a little blood trickled out.
She’d meant to hit Comet hard enough to knock some sense into him, but she hadn’t actually wanted to cause damage.
A knot formed there, so she sat him up slowly and settled him against the mirrored wall. Holding up two fingers, she tapped his knee. “How many?”
Comet opened his eyes and blinked at her. “Two.”
“Good. No brain damage. You’ll live.”
He chortled and shook his head once, cringing and closing his eyes again.
“I’ll dress that if you can manage to get to your feet. Or would you rather wait here?” She could easily bring a kit in to clean him up.
“I need a minute.”
Winter went and grabbed a cloth, ice, a beer, and a salve for the swelling.
He sat where she’d left him with his head back and eyes closed.
A hand found his shoulder before she braced the welt, and she handed him the open beer.
Comet peered at her with a bit more focus. “You’d be prettier if you didn’t train like a male.”
Well, that purged the rest of her sympathy. She pushed his hair aside, wiped it clean, and smeared the goop on it without much ceremony. Good thing she didn’t give two shits about how pretty she was.
“You’d be a lot prettier if you did.” She tossed him the ice and left him there.