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Showing posts with label Giveaways. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Giveaways. Show all posts
Thursday, May 12, 2022

Ebook and Gift Card Giveaway for Vi Keeland's Birthday!

    Vi Keeland BIRTHDAY BOOK GIVEAWAY     

Happy Birthday to one of my besties!  I love you Vivi!  I want to celebrate by gifting a few of Vi's Violets and Kindle Crack Book Reviews Daily Fix group members some of my favorite books! Spin the wheel by clicking the link below. You can enter twice by playing here and in my reader group Kindle Crack Book Reviews Daily Fix group.


How to play:

1. CLICK THE WHEEL BELOW TO SPIN  

2. Comment on this post (in Vi's group and/or Kindle Crack Book Reviews Daily Fix Group and tell me what book you landed on.

3. Don't forget to tell Vi Keeland Happy Birthday!  


I'll pick a few ebook winners. The gift card winner will be notified by private message to avoid scammers. Please play if you intend to read the book and not to obtain an Amazon credit. Open for 48 hours.


Join Vi's group -- https://www.facebook.com/groups/ViKeelandFanGroup/

Join Kindle Crack Book Reviews Daily Fix group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/KindleCrackBookReviewsDailyFix/

Thursday, February 24, 2022

SNEAK PEEK: The Assignment by Penelope Ward Excerpt + Giveaway

The Assignment by Penelope Ward is almost here! Read an excerpt and enter for a chance to win an e-arc/e-book copy and read it early. I loved this standalone enemies-to-lovers romance book so much! FYI: it might release early on 2/27. Stay tuned. 

The Assignment by Penelope Ward Image Kindle Crack
Title: The Assignment

Author: Penelope Ward

Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance


Release Date: February 28, 2022

 

BLURB

 

From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Ward, comes a new standalone novel.

 

Reasons why I should not be drawn to Troy Serrano.

Number one: He’s obnoxious.

Number two: He and I were enemies over a decade ago in high school.

Number three: He’s my friend’s ex-boyfriend.

I could go on and on, really.

When my boss gives me an unwanted assignment and tells me it involves spending time with the grandson of one of our residents—the grandson turns out to be Troy. He’s now as successful as he is undeniably handsome.

Lucky me. Four hours a week of having to deal with his insufferable personality and unsolicited advice.

The only consolation is getting to stare at his annoyingly gorgeous face in between our many arguments.

Eventually, though, we slowly warm to each other and our outings become something I actually look forward to.

What’s happening to me?

Apparently, I misunderstood the assignment, because it certainly didn’t include thinking about Troy when I close my eyes at night, imagining what it would be like with him—just once. All the while hating myself for fantasizing about a guy who’s all wrong for me. A guy whose car I keyed back in the day. (Long story, but he deserved it.)

That’s all this is—a fantasy.

Well, until that one night at the bar.

The night Troy and I run into each other, and all of our pent-up frustration comes barreling out.

Still, I refuse to accept that it means anything.

There’s no way the guy I’m supposed to hate is also the one I can’t live without.

 

 

GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60117823

 

BOOKBUB LINK: https://www.bookbub.com/books/the-assignment-by-penelope-ward

 

 

PRE-ORDER LINKS

PRE-ORDER LINKS 2/28 release 

Kindle: Available on release day 

Audio: https://amzn.to/3t6u14F

Apple Books: https://apple.co/3FtTBEV

Paperback: https://amzn.to/3qw26v6

B&N: https://bit.ly/36DjR4a

Kobo: https://bit.ly/3hg1KDg

Sign up to be alerted when it goes live on Amazon here: https://fave.co/2KoLPUN 

**No Amazon e-book preorder. Will go live on/around release day.

*affiliate links 


 

SNEAK PEEK/EXCERPT

 

Copyright © 2021 Penelope Ward

 

I hadn’t gone out with a man in ages, and I needed to get back in the game before I shriveled up. I laughed to myself. If only these dating app boys could see me in this mask and robe.

I sipped my tea and began to alternate scrolling with shoveling unsweetened cacao nibs into my mouth.

After several minutes of swiping through, I suddenly stopped chewing at the sight of a familiar pair of pearly whites.

I know those teeth.

I know that man.

Oh God.

Staring me in the face was none other than Troy Serrano.

Holy crap.

Troy, 29

I tossed my phone as if it were infected with a contagious virus.

A few seconds later, I picked it back up and stared at his profile picture. I wouldn’t have imagined Troy needed to use a dating app, but being new to town again, maybe he felt like it was the easiest way to meet people. Of course, the app had sent him my way in part because we were geographically close to each other. I wanted to block him, but I wasn’t sure exactly how to do that. I’d never had to block anyone from seeing my profile before. But there was no way I wanted him to notice me on here. If he’d come up as an option for me, surely the app would present me to him at some point. My stomach sank. I’d figure out how to block him right after I thoroughly scrutinized his profile.

The photos he’d chosen were, of course, really good. But could he even take a bad photo with that face and f*ck-me hair? In one, he wore a form-fitting black sweater and leaned up against a brick wall. In another, he held up a fish he’d caught, with his chiseled abs on display. 

Then I scrolled down to the section where you were supposed to describe yourself. Whereas most men write a simple paragraph, Troy had written an obituary.

God, what the hell is this?

 

Financial advisor Troy S.’s love of life will live on through his many friends who will continue to honor his legacy by living their lives to the fullest.

Born in Meadowbrook, New Jersey, to a single father who broke his ass raising him, Troy learned firsthand what it meant to work hard. On his own, though, he figured out that working hard meant you should play harder.

Troy attended the University of Florida for both his undergraduate degree and Masters in Business Administration. (Go Gators!) After several years of partying it up, Troy decided to take life seriously for once as he embarked on a career as one of the premier financial advisors in the Pacific Northwest. Troy shared his passion for numbers with his many happy clients.

The simplest pleasures in life brought great joy to Troy. He was equally happy Netflix-and-chilling as he was ziplining in Costa Rica. On weekends, Troy often spent time teaching himself how to play the guitar. He loved to explore local hiking trails and struck up conversations with strangers in many of Seattle’s coffee shops, charming people with his charisma and verve for life.

He had a remarkable ability to see the silver lining in everything. His positive personality was contagious to everyone he met. Troy is survived by his father, grandfather, and one needy cat.

Lucky for you, all of the above is mostly true except that Troy’s not actually dead. He’s very much alive and eager to see if you’re a match.

 

Lordy.

My phone vibrated, scaring the living hell out of me. It was a text from Jasmine, making sure I’d gotten home okay. But then the screen changed. Wait, what? When my hand jerked, I’d accidentally swiped right on Troy’s profile. I wouldn’t have even realized this were it not for the words: It’s a match!

What?

Oh no.

No. No. No.

If we matched, that meant one thing: Troy had previously swiped right on meUgh! How long had he known I was on here?

I threw the phone again, as if it were infected with yet another dangerous virus.

For about a minute, I just sat in a panic, my hands wrapped around my face.

Then I picked up the phone to try to undo the action. But before I could find the information, a notification popped up. Troy had sent me a direct message through the app.

My heart pounded in my chest. I clicked on it.

 

Troy: Well, well, well. What do we have here?

 

I couldn’t type fast enough.

 

Aspyn: We have nothing here. I accidentally swiped right on your profile. This was a mistake.

 

My pulse raced as the little dots moved around.

 

Troy: Um, what now? How exactly does that happen? Accidentally swiping right?

 

I realized how ridiculous that sounded. But it was the damn truth! Figures the stupidest thing ever would happen to me, and I’d never be able to convince him it was true.

 

Aspyn: My phone vibrated and startled me. I happened to be looking at your profile at the time.

 

Troy: Oh, that explains it. Phones vibrating can be quite traumatic.

 

I blew a frustrated breath toward my forehead.

 

Aspyn: You don’t have to believe me, but it’s the truth.

 

Troy: Why were you looking at my profile?

 

Aspyn: Because this stupid app force fed it to me.

 

Troy: So, were you looking at my pictures, thinking: “Damn, he’s a handsome sonofabitch. Too bad I hate him.”

 

Aspyn: You got the last part right. ;-)

 

Troy: What did you think of my profile?

 

Aspyn: Honestly?

 

Troy: Yeah.

 

Aspyn: It’s utterly obnoxious.

 

Troy: Why do you say that?

 

Aspyn: That fake obituary? LOL Do you expect people to take you seriously?

 

Troy: It was supposed to be FUNNY and clever. I thought you said you liked funny men, according to your boring-as-f*ck bio.

 

Aspyn: If I’m so boring, why the hell did you swipe right on me?

 

Troy: Because I couldn’t get myself to swipe left. I felt bad for you. Let’s talk about your bio, though.

 

I looked up and screamed at the ceiling. My voice echoed throughout the house.

 

Aspyn: Let’s not.

 

Troy: Boring. As. F*ck. First off, though, a compliment: You look really hot in those photos. I barely recognized you.

 

I refused to acknowledge the chill that ran down my spine at his backhanded compliment. Instead, I typed again.

 

Aspyn: Nothing like immediately following up an insult with a compliment and then another insult.

 

Troy: It’s constructive criticism. I know you’re better than that bio. It was as if you copied and pasted it from some other boring-as-f*ck profile.

 

Aspyn: There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s simple and to the point. You’re not supposed to write a dissertation—or an obituary.

 

Troy: But you’re not selling who you actually are.

 

Aspyn: I didn’t realize I was supposed to be “selling” myself. I have enough trouble on the app attracting losers without doing anything at all. Maybe I should intentionally remain boring to keep them away. Yeah, that’s a better idea.

 

Troy: Well, your photos are the bomb. So you’re gonna attract a fair share of men. But come on, put a little life into the other stuff. 

 

Aspyn: I was embarrassed for you reading your profile.

 

Troy: Well, at least within my fake obituary lies the essence of who I am.

 

Aspyn: A buffoon? You’re correct.

 

Troy: Let me help you rewrite your bio.

 

I cackled and typed.

 

Aspyn: No, thank you.

 

Troy: Give me a sec.

 

 

AUTHOR BIO

 

Penelope Ward Kindle Crack

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author of contemporary romance.

 

She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor. Penelope resides in Rhode Island with her husband, son, and beautiful daughter with autism.

 

With over two million books sold, she is a 21-time New York Times bestseller and the author of over twenty novels. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages and can be found in bookstores around the world.


AUTHOR LINKS

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/penelopewardauthor

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/PenelopesPeeps

Instagram: http://instagram.com/PenelopeWardAuthor

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@penelopewardofficial

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PenelopeAuthor

 


Monday, November 1, 2021

New Romance Book Giveaways & Amazon Gift Cards

New signed romance paperbacks and Amazon gift card giveaways are up for grabs on my Instagram page. Visit https://www.instagram.com/kindlecrack to enter for a chance to win. Romance book lovers will find daily giveaways,  and book recommendations, book reviews, reading lists, and book memes. #kindlecrack


Kindle Crack Instagram Giveaways

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Check out this SNEAK PEEK for Well Played!

Excited about Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward’s upcoming release, Well Played?  You should be!  Check out this excerpt and my spoiler-free review. October 25th release! Enter for a chance to win an ebook copy NOW and read it EARLY!  ENTER at KCBR on INSTAGRAM.


Download the ebook for FREE NOW https://amzn.to/2XO4jXh

Paperback: https://amzn.to/3pMkno6

Hardcover: https://amzn.to/3vSI3rG


Well Played by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward Cover on Kindle Crack

EXCERPT REVEAL

Title: Well Played

Authors: Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward

Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance

Release Date: October 25, 2021


Presley

 

Harper picked up the notebook that contained my to-do list from the table and opened to a fresh page. Clicking the pen open, she scribbled across the top.

To do with Levi

I chuckled. “Are we making a dirty to-do list?”

She wiggled her eyebrows and put the pen to the paper. “We certainly are.” “Tell me one thing you fantasize about doing with him.”

Yep, I was definitely drunk, because sober me wouldn’t have participated in this. Though, even in this state, I felt my cheeks blush. “Well, every day he goes out back and does pull-ups in that big oak tree. Sometimes I imagine he’s naked while doing them, and then I walk out naked, too. I wrap myself around him like a koala and he’s a tree, and he keeps doing the pull-ups. Hoisting us both up and down.”

Harper smirked. “Nice start.” She then jotted down koala pull-ups. “What else you got?”

“Well, I also have this running fantasy that I’m watching him do the pull-ups from my bedroom window with binoculars, and then I lie down on the bed and…you know…go to town on myself. And when I’m just about to orgasm, I look up at the window and see Levi with the binoculars. He’s watching me masturbate from outside.”

“Oooh… I like that one.” Harper wrote down voyeur masturbation.

For the next half hour, we polished off our spiked lemonades, laughed a lot, and added more than a dozen sexual to-do tasks to my list. It was the most fun I’d had in ages. But Harper had to fly home in the morning, and I didn’t want her to have a raging hangover. So rather than make another pitcher of spiked lemonade, I grabbed her a water bottle and some Motrin and told her to drink up before going to bed.

But as I walked around and shut off the lights, another fantasy hit me. “That peach cobbler we had for dessert at the restaurant was orgasmic, wasn’t it?”

“It sure was.”

I pointed to the notepad. “Sit on Levi’s face while eating that pie.”

Harper had been drinking water and spit it out all over the place. “Oh my God. That is most definitely going on the list!” She picked up the pen and spoke while jotting something down. “Double orgasmic peach cobbler.”

We started to crack up, but a knock interrupted our laughter. At least it interrupted mine. I looked up to find Levi standing in the doorway to the living room.

My eyes widened. “Levi… What are you doing here?”

His brows lifted. “I own half the place.”

“No, I meant I didn’t know you were back.”

He looked between Harper and me and seemed to smirk. “Oh, I’m back.”

My palms started to sweat. “I didn’t hear you come in. How long have you been…standing there?”

Levi tilted his head, and his smirk elevated to a cocky smile. “Not too long.”

Oh my God. I wanted to crawl into a hole and never come out. What if he heard? I suddenly felt pretty damn sober. “Umm…well, this is my friend Harper. She’s leaving early tomorrow, so we were just going to bed.”

He nodded. “Nice to meet you, Harper.”

Harper stood and hiccupped. She covered her grinning mouth. “Nice to meet you, too. Your family’s inn is beautiful.”

“Thank you.”

Her eyes shifted to me. “Although there’s a lot to do around here. Presley and I made a list. You might want to take a look at it and get going on some of the new to-do tasks we added.”

My eyes nearly bulged out of my head, and I lunged for the notebook on the table.

Levi squinted at me. “Everything okay, Presley? You seem stressed.”

“I’m fine!”

He nodded slowly. “Right.”

“Alright….” I grabbed Harper’s arm and tugged. “We’re going to bed. Welcome home.”

Levi never moved from the living room doorway as he watched me drag my friend out of the room.

Harper waved over her shoulder. “’Night, Levi. Enjoy your to-do list!”

Somehow I managed to get Harper to her room without her yelling anything too obscene. But for the next half hour, I lay in my bed with my heart pounding. What if he’d heard us? What if he’d been standing there listening the entire time? Oh my God. I covered my face with my hands. The things I said I wanted to do to him. My head began to ache, and tomorrow’s hangover hadn’t even started yet.

After another twenty minutes of lying there freaking out in the dark, my mouth was so parched that I needed a bottle of water. But there was no way I wanted to run into Levi again. So I cracked open my bedroom door and listened for any sounds of someone moving out in the common area. Finding it quiet, I snuck down the hall and peered around the corner to see if any lights were still on. They weren’t, so I breathed a sigh of relief and went to the kitchen for a drink.

I guzzled half a bottle of water before turning to slink back to my bedroom. But I froze at the sight of Levi standing in the kitchen doorway. My hand flew up to cover my racing heart. “Oh my God. You scared me.”

“Sorry. I was just going to head out to grab a bite to eat.”

“Oh…there are leftovers from lunch in the fridge, if you want. I made chicken pot pies this morning.”

Levi held my eyes for a moment. “Thanks, but I think I’m going to go out.” He walked over and leaned down to whisper in my ear. “I have a real hankering for peach cobbler.”

Oh.

My.

God.

My jaw dropped to the ground. I had no idea what to do or say.

Levi winked as he walked to the door. “Get some sleep. I wouldn’t want you to be too tired to work on that to-do list.”


★★★

 

Excited?  We are too!

 


 

Please note: There will not be an Amazon ebook pre-order, but it will be available on Amazon in Kindle Unlimited on release day.

 

Sign up for Vi and Penelope’s mailing list now and be the first one notified when it goes live!   http://eepurl.com/brAPo9


ADD TO GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58875176-wp


Spoiler-free Review of Well Played

Well PlayedWell Played by Vi Keeland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, my heart! I want to scream from my rooftop about Well Played, by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward. Since I'm not going to go up on my roof like a lunatic, I'm going to scream about this book from the comfort of my laptop. I didn't expect ALL OF THE FEELS! Vi and Penelope dialed up feels, heat (thanks for steaming up my Kindle screen), and fun! This all-consuming, forbidden romance is both addictive and intoxicating. 

I've said this before, and I'll say it again and again, Vi and Penelope make it impossible to not fall in love with their characters and their co-authored books. I'm happily addicted to their writing! Well Played is 110% Kindle Crack. I'm book buzzed from Levi and Presley.  Well Played is on my Best of 2021 Book List. 

"That was better than any touchdown or Super Bowl win."

As a reader, I felt like I won the Super Bowl after reading this book. I hugged my Kindle. 

Well Played by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward Video Kindle Crack


VI KEELAND

 

Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author. With millions of books sold, her titles are currently translated in twenty-six languages and have appeared on bestseller lists in the US, Germany, Brazil, Bulgaria, and Hungary. Three of her short stories have been turned into films by Passionflix, and two of her books are currently optioned for movies. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

 

Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/vi.keeland

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ViKeelandFanGroup

Website: http://www.vikeeland.com

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@vikeeland

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ViKeeland

Instagram: http://instagram.com/Vi_Keeland

 

 

PENELOPE WARD

 

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author of contemporary romance.

 

She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor. Penelope resides in Rhode Island with her husband, son, and beautiful daughter with autism.

 

With over two million books sold, she is a 21-time New York Times bestseller and the author of over twenty novels. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages and can be found in bookstores around the world.

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/penelopewardauthor

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/PenelopesPeeps

Instagram: http://instagram.com/PenelopeWardAuthor

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@penelopewardofficial

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PenelopeAuthor



Monday, July 26, 2021

Claimed by J.R. Ward Paperback Giveaway & Excerpt

Fresh off her latest New York Times bestseller Lover Unveiled (April 2021), #1 New York Times bestselling author J.R. Ward introduces a new type of supernatural force with CLAIMED on sale July 27th. This heart-pounding new series set in the Black Dagger Brotherhood world is about a scientist fighting to save the gray wolves—and getting caught in a deadly trap herself. Read the first chapter below and feel free to enter my Claimed giveaway.

For a chance to win a paperback copy please enter on my Facebook or Instagram posts! 

Claimed by J.R. Ward cover and giveaway

Buy Links:

Kindle - https://amzn.to/3zQnQ6T 

Audio - https://amzn.to/2Vhd0I4 

Paperback - https://amzn.to/3x7t507 

Nook - https://fave.co/2Wewn4K 

Kobo - https://fave.co/3y6VdBM 

Apple - https://apple.co/3kXhfmI 


About the book:

Lydia Susi is passionate about protecting wolves in their natural habitat. When a hotel chain develops a tract of land next to the preserve, Lydia is one of the most vocal opponents of the project—and becomes a target.

 

One night, a shadowy figure threatens Lydia’s life in the forest, and a new hire at the Wolf Study Project comes from out of nowhere to save her. Daniel Joseph is both mysterious, and someone she intrinsically wants to trust. But is he hiding something?

As the stakes get higher, and one of Lydia’s colleagues is murdered, she must decide how far she will go to protect the wolves. Then a shocking revelation about Daniel challenges Lydia’s reality in ways she could never have predicted. Some fates demand courage, while others require even more, with no guarantees. Is she destined to have true love...or will a soul-shattering loss ruin her forever?



CLAIMED

Chapter 1


Town of Walters, est. 1834

Upstate New York


Lydia Susi’s Destiny came for her in the veil, on a random Thursday in the early spring.

As she ran along the wooded trail, two miles into a loop that would take her through the preserve’s northeastern acreage, she was measuring the glowing line that topped the contours of the mountains. Soon, the stripe would expand to an aura, and after that, the sun would accept the handoff from the moon, and day would arrive.

Her grandfather had always told her there were two twilights, two gloamings, and if you wanted to find your past, you went into the pines in the evening as the sun went down. If you wanted your future to come to you, you went alone into the forest in the veil, during that sacred transition of night into morning. There, he’d told her, when the distinction between that which ruled the light and that which held domain over the dark was at its narrowest, when the moon and the sun reached for each other before the rotations of their orbits tore them asunder, there was when the mortal could brush up against the infinite and seek answers, direction, guidance.

Of course, that did not mean you got good news. Or what you wanted.

But life was not an à la carte buffet where you could choose everything that went on your plate—another words-of-wisdom from a man who had lived to be 101 years old still smoking a pipe and drinking a glass of sima after his dinner year round.

Why limit spring to just Vappu? he’d said.

Lydia had never believed in his superstitions. She was a researcher, a scientist, and the kinds of things that her isoisa had gone on about did not fit in with that Ph.D. in biology she’d bought on layaway from the federal government and was still paying off.

So no, she was not out looking for any prognosti-cation from the universe this morning. She was get-ting her workout done before she headed into her office at the Wolf Study Project. With the way things had been going lately, she was going to blink and it would be seven at night. Short-staffed and under-funded, everything was a fight for resources at WSP, and by the time she locked things up every evening, she was exhausted. So Carpe Cardio was her motto and why she was out in this misty darkness—

Lydia let her stride peter to a halt.

Her breath pumped in clouds that captured and held the moonlight, and as a breeze came across the trail, her body did the same with the chill, grabbing it out of the air and bringing it in under her wind-breaker.

As she shivered, she looked behind herself. The trail she was on was the widest one in the preserve, a highway rather than a street, but she couldn’t see much into the trees. Pines crowded up close to the shoulders of the packed path, and the fog wafting through the craggy trunks and fluffy boughs obscured the forest even more.

In a quick calculation, she figured she was a good three miles from any other human, two miles from her car at the trailhead’s parking area, and a hundred yards from what had caught her attention.

There, up ahead, something was close to the ground, moving.

Fight or flight, Lydia, she thought. What’s it going to be.

She reached around to the small of her back. There were two cylinders mounted on the strap of her fanny pack, and she left the Mace where it was. Clicking on her flashlight and bringing it forward, she swung the beam in a wide arc—

The eyes flashed over on the left, a set of retinas flaring the light back at her as pinpoints. The stare was about three feet from the ground and the pupils were set close together, as predators’ were.

Lydia looked around again.

“I’m not going to bother you,” she said. But like the gray wolf spoke English?

The growl was soft. And then came the rustling. The animal was prowling toward her.

“Oh, shit.”

Except . . .

Lydia kept the beam down on the fallen pine needles as she, too, walked forward. Something was wrong with the wolf, its gait wobbly and uneven. Yet the spirit of the hunter remained undeterred—and she was identified as its target.

She was about twenty feet away when she got a sense of the fully mature male. He was filled out, at a healthy weight of about a hundred and thirty pounds, and his mottled white, gray, and brown fur was thick and lush, especially at the tail. But his head was hanging at a bad angle, and he was dragging his back paws as he continued to close the distance between them.

It was obvious when the wolf was going to collapse. Though his head remained forward, his body listed to the side, his will staying strong even as his rear legs, and then his forelegs, gave out.

He landed on the soft bed of pine needles on his side, and the struggle was immediate, useless paws batting at thin air and ground cover. As Lydia drew a little closer to him, he snarled, flashing long white fangs, his golden eyes narrowing.

“Shh . . .” she said as she kneeled down.

Her hand shook as she got out her cell phone. As she called a number from her favorites, she tried to keep her breathing steady.

In the flashlight’s beam, she could see the grayness of those gums. The wolf was dying—and she knew why.

“God damn it, pick up, pick up—” Her words ma-chine gun’d from her mouth. “Rick? Wake up, I’ve got another one. On the main trail—what? Yes, it’s the same—enough with the talking, get your ass out of bed. I’m on the loop, about two miles into the—huh? Yes, bring everything, and hurry.”

She cut the connection as her voice gave out.

Letting herself fall back to a sit, she stared into those beautiful eyes and tried to project love, acceptance, gentleness . . . compassion. And something got through, the majestic male’s muzzle relaxing, its paws falling still, his flank rising and falling in a shuddering breath.

Or maybe it was dying right now.

“Help is coming,” she said hoarsely to the animal.

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