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Real Men Howl (Real Men Shift #1)
Author:Celia Kyle & Marina Maddix

Real Men Howl (Real Men Shift #1)

Celia Kyle & Marina Maddix



Blurb


Mason’s inner wolf will go crazy without her. Lucy thinks he’s already crazy. Werewolves aren’t real. Right?

Lucy Morgan left Ashtown, Georgia, ten years ago and planned to never return. Unfortunately, life didn’t get that memo. She’s back and now painful memories follow her everywhere. Until she meets him. Mason Blackwood is over six feet of sinfully gorgeous man who—for some reason—wants her. He also thinks he’s a werewolf so… yeah. He’s crazypants. But when he wants to have his wicked way with her, his sanity doesn’t seem all that important anymore.

Mason isn’t sure how much longer he can remain Alpha over the Blackwood pack. Without a mate to balance him, his wolf snatches more control every day. It won’t be long before he loses himself to the animal entirely. Then he meets Lucy—a sassy, curvaceous beauty who calms his beast with a smile. One sniff is enough to tell him she’s his mate, and nothing will keep them apart.

Not even the pack’s deadliest enemy who’s determined to kill Lucy before Mason can claim her.





Chapter One





Mason doubted anyone would take him up on the offer, but he figured he’d ask anyway. Who knew, maybe there was a wolf in his pack that needed an ass kicking.

He glanced around the clearing, eyes passing over the others. “Who wants to spar with me?”

The glade lay not far from Blackwood pack house, their territory deep in the woods atop a Georgia mountain. Mason and his two younger brothers, Kade and Gavin, had spent many happy—and unhappy—hours in training with the old man. All three of them had practiced controlling their shifts as pups, popping in and out of their wolf form on their father’s command. As they’d grown older, they’d learned to fight in the clearing—both as men and beasts. The place held a lot of memories for every member of the Blackwood pack.

Mason yanked his t-shirt over his head and tossed it to his youngest brother, Gavin. Then he bounced from foot to foot, loosening up before his fight. “Okay, who wants to try their hand at besting their alpha?”

The men who’d gathered for early morning training glanced at each other, uncertainty clouding their expressions, and not a one moved. Even Kade and Gavin appeared wary. Yeah, he couldn’t blame them for their reaction, but there was no stopping himself either. His wolf howled, the need to hit something riding him hard. The need to release some of his pent-up aggression nearly sending him over the edge. It tore at him, straining his skin and threatening to turn him into a mindless beast.

“Come on, Mason.” Kade rolled his eyes. “We’re here to train the sentries, not see a display of your magnificence.”

Mason ignored Kade’s sarcasm and scanned the group of ten or so young wolves. He peeled his lips back, flashing his human-shaped teeth in a feral grin. “What’s the problem, ladies?” He held his arms out to his sides. “I promise I won’t bite.”

Every male in the clearing looked away… except one.

Mason’s wolf rumbled in approval, the animal perking up at the idea of unleashing his violence. “Anders, you’re up. Although, I’m not sure it’ll be a fair fight. In jeans that tight, you’ll be lucky to get in one kick before I take you down.”

“What I want to know,” Anders chuckled and shook his head. He tugged off his own shirt and padded closer to his alpha, “is why you’re looking at my pants.”

Mason’s smile broadened, and the harsh edge of his bloodlust shaved off with the joke. “Just wondering if they come in men’s sizes is all.”

Anders narrowed his gaze and crouched into a ready position, fists poised in front of his face.

“Yeah, that’s what I thought,” Mason snorted and then eased right to circle the man.

He didn’t crouch low like Anders. Instead, he stood tall while he countered the other wolf’s circles. Anders’ shuffled steps brought him close but always just out of reach. Not that Mason was ready to attack.

Truthfully, he hoped Anders would submit before his wolf was challenged. Deep down, he knew Kade was right. He shouldn’t be sparring with any of ‘em. Train them? Yes. Absolutely. Spar one on one? When need rode him hard and his anger was on a hair trigger? No. It wasn’t fair. More than that, it was dangerous in his current mood. Mason had superior strength, speed and wits. Anders was a good sentry, but he stood absolutely no chance of winning. Fuck his chance of learning anything. Yet Mason couldn’t force himself to stand down.

Anders lunged and then scurried back. Mason didn’t even blink, much less flinch. He’d seen Anders’ intent in his eyes a split second before the other wolf tried the bit of misdirection. Mason had seen too much in his life to be fooled by such an obvious feint. Still, his heart pumped fast and hard, and his wolf growled to be set free. They were both ready for a fight—for a win—even one as lopsided as this battle would be.

“Mason,” Gavin called out to him. “Knock it off, already.”

Mason’s gaze shot to his brother, eyes narrowed in warning. Anders took advantage of that hint of distraction. Obviously, Anders had thought his alpha was distracted. That maybe he’d gain the upper hand. He was wrong.

Anders leapt forward, his right arm cocked back, and left lowered a hint too much. Leaving himself open, it was easy for Mason to jab the wolf in the nose—the crack of bone signaling he’d broken his sentry’s nose. The wolf shook his head, sending blood to splatter on the dirt as he tried to clear his head after the painful punch.

Mason hadn’t even put much effort into the strike.

“And that’s enough,” Kade strode forward until he stood between the men.

Mason’s wolf bristled, furious at his brother for stepping between him and his prey. He caught his brother’s eye and snarled his displeasure. “Get back and stay back.” His gums throbbed, wolf fighting to push his fangs free. “Don’t make me tell you again.”

Mason ignored his brother’s frown. He also ignored the expressions of the other sentries. They’d never seen their alpha so uncontrolled—so on edge—but he couldn’t stop himself. Besides, everyone needed to blow off steam occasionally.

“Get up,” he snapped at Anders. “You’re fine.”

Anders sprang to his feet, still wiping the torrent of blood from his nose. The wolf wavered in place, a bit less steady than before, but fight still lingered in his hungry stare. Anders bounced from foot to foot, moving sideways as he and Mason circled each other. Every few seconds, one would push forward and throw a jab, the other avoiding it easily.

“Good,” Mason grunted, though he was anything but happy about his opponent’s ability to evade him. “You’re quick on your feet, but you can’t bounce around like a bunny all day.”

“Maybe you can’t,” Anders gave Mason a cocky wink. “It’s easy when you’re young.”

If Anders had said that to anyone else, Mason would have laughed. Trash talk was expected while sparring. Hell, it was encouraged. Except this hit Mason in a sensitive spot. Thirty-four wasn’t old by anyone’s standards—unless the person was an unmated werewolf alpha.

He peeled his upper lip back in a fierce snarl as he glared at Anders. His blood burned hot, too hot. Fury burned in his gut and he’d never wanted anything more than to punch the mouthy little shit across the clearing.

With a growl, Mason swung his arm wide and saw his fuckup in an instant. He’d let Anders get under his skin, dammit. The sentry recognized the opening and took his shot—right into Mason’s kidney.

Mason spun away from Anders and pretended the blow hadn’t hurt, even though his back burned like a raging fire. “Lucky shot.”

Anders grinned, blood staining his teeth pink. “Depends on who you ask.”