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Instinct by J. A. Garland - Fantasy
Lone wolf, Rory Archer, never failed a single mission. Now the hunted instead of the hunter, Rory unwinds a twisted trail leading back to Amber Arlington, a spirited Halfling tied to a world of Shadows. Bound to vows initially forged out of necessity, Rory and Amber's relationship surges into more than either of them bargained for, tangling them in a web of passion. Scrambling to identify their attacker before joining the casualty list, Rory is faced with doing the unthinkable, or watching Amber turned into a slave for his species.
In the battle against Shadows, demons and all variety of monsters come out to fight. Can one wolf learn to trust in time to save them all?
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Anxiety prickled Rory’s chest before fanning out to raise the hairs on the back of his neck. Dropping quickly, he pressed his torso and legs flat to the ground. Prone was never first pick, but a small silhouette was the best concealment the area offered.
Lifting his head, he scanned the beach. Early morning waves rolled onto the shore, a salty surf leaching down to darken the sand. He twisted, angling to look overhead. No birds, no surfers, no stray animals. Nothing. The absolute absence of activity confirmed his instincts.
Rory sprang to his feet in a protective half-crouch and turned, just in time to see a man come out of nowhere. Lowering his head and steeling his body, Rory head-butted his attacker square in the gut.
“Shit!” The man grunted, expelling an angry rush of air as he hit the sand.
Rory resisted the urge to leap back into the fray. He’d been in enough fights to know men with tunnel vision didn’t live to fight another day. Giving himself a buffer, he took a few steps back. “I’m not here for you.” This wasn’t the Otherkind Shadow whose dossier he’d spent the better part of the evening memorizing.
Who was this man and why was he tangling with him?
“Do yourself a favor and stay down,” Rory growled while looking around. Several distant figures headed their way from the north and the south. It was entirely possible they weren’t friends of the man who’d tried to jump him. They could be nothing more than the early morning runners they appeared to be. But other runners never made him feel this on edge. Just what in the hell was going on?
“You might not be here for me, Wolf, but we’re here for you.”
InstinctBy: J. A. Garland