Alphas in the Wild
by Ann Gimpel
Publisher: Dream Shadow Press
Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance Anthology
The books are also available individually.
Dark. Daunting. Unforgettable.
Survival adds a demanding edge to love in the wilds.
Tumble into second-chance love, where magics collide, mountain gods are out for blood, and aliens invade Earth.
From The Book Junkie Reads . . . Hello Darkness (Alphas in the Wild, #1) . . .
Druid, shaman, magic, storms, male pride, male superiority, male, ego, and one female that stands between the two. Now a blaring blizzard comes to make the events a bit more intense. There was intensity in passion and vengeance. Moria had two men to contend with and this was not all good for her. One wants her for good the other wants her for not so good.
Ann gives me an intriguing read with her writing every time I pick up a new read. The full richness of the paranormal world and the enticement of magic and the open land adds more depth to the description of the world around them. The characters have a bit of an edge to them. The added benefit of a second chance at love also adds some flavor.
Moria was our first amazing female in this series of wild happening in the wild. I excited to see what comes next.
Hello Darkness, Alphas in the Wild, #1
Earth magics collide, forcing Moira Shaughnessy to take a chance on a man who hurt her so badly she never forgave him.
A ranger for the U.S. Park Service, Moira is in serious trouble. Fleeing from Ryan, her cheating husband, who’s also a Native American shaman, she stumbles into the arms of a man she never thought she’d see again. He hurt her once by choosing his magic over her. Would she be a fool to take a chance on him now?
Tim hasn’t seen Moira in ten years. When her name shows up on his patient roster in the rural clinic where he’s a doctor, he can’t believe his luck. Deeply held secrets forced him from her side, but he’s never forgotten her. Never stopped loving her. This time, he’s determined to make different choices, even if it costs him his birthright as the next Arch Druid.
Pursuing very different motives, Tim and Ryan follow Moira deep into the backcountry, catching her in a crossfire between Celtic and Native American magic. A freak blizzard compounds her problems, taxing her survival skills to the max. Against the specter of almost-certain death, Moira has some hard choices to make.
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From The Book Junkie Reads . . . Alpine Attraction (Alphas in the Wild, #2) . . .
When the demon/devil, whichever, is coming to get you, why not meet him/it on neutral ground? Tina made the deal with the devil and now knows that it time for her to pay her debt. The thing is she has no real desire to go down without a fight or at least without cleansing a few past deeds.
This time around the Andes takes our second chance lovers on an intense excursion that will surely be remembered. The adventure was fun and vividly describe. The chance to do things a bit differently the second time around makes you look a bit closer. Tina and Craig had another chance. It came with its own set of pitfalls. This was an epic adventure for them to experience together. I enjoyed this read.
Tina made a pact with the devil seven years ago. It’s time to pay the piper—or die.
Independent to the nth degree, Tina meets everything in her life head-on—except love. When an almost-forgotten pact with the devil returns to haunt her, Tina throws a trip to the Andes together to face her nemesis. Better to die on her feet than wait for him to make good on his threats.
Craig never understood why Tina walked out of his life years before. He’s never loved anyone like he loved her. His mountain guide service takes up all his time, but he’s never forgotten her. When his back’s been up against the wall, he’s invited her to fill in as expedition doctor, but beyond that, he’s kept his distance. Having his heart stomped on once was quite enough.
Caught between misgivings and need, Tina signs on as team doctor for one of Craig’s climbing trips to the Andes. Though he was the love of her life, she pushed him away years before to keep him safe. Even if he doesn’t love her anymore, there’s still no one she’d rather have by her side in the mountains. And if she’s going to die, she wants to make things right between them.
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From The Book Junkie Reads . . . A Run for Her Money (Alphas in the Wild, #3) . . .
Sara, Jake, and Jared get to spend some serious quality time together. There was something going on in the mountains and only together will they figure it all out. I felt a bit more of the sci-fi fantasy thing going on here over the paranormal supernatural. Then there were points that it all mixed together, in a good way. There was lots of action, adrenaline pumping and the pacing kept up with it all. Twist with twist. Turns that were out of nowhere. This was some serious stuff. Giving Sara, Jake, and Jared a run for their money.
I admit that this one throw me off of my game a bit. I was looking for more paranormal supernatural, magic, demon kind. Sara handled her business and took care of others. She was the ranger that knew what needed to be done. Jared was no slouch but I found Sara was capable and very willing.
A Run For Her Money, Alphas in the Wild, #3
Sara’s day begins like any other. A routine extraction in tandem with a local Search and Rescue team. Routine crashes to a halt when she ends up trapped in a hut, high atop Muir Pass in the Sierras. Four days later, running out of food for herself and her dog, she makes a bold dash for safety.
Jared’s walking the Muir Trail when all hell breaks loose. After hunkering beneath a boulder pile for days, he dares a difficult cross-country route, hoping it’ll put him into position to approach a backcountry ranger station. Surely one of the rangers will know what happened, because he sure as hell doesn’t. Jared locates the cabin, but it’s locked tight. He’s getting ready to leave the next morning when a helicopter lands, with Sara at the helm. There’s no time to trade war stories. It takes a leap of faith, but they throw in their lot together. Can they face the impossible and come out the other side unscathed?
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From The Book Junkie Reads . . . Fire Moon (Alphas in the Wild, #4) . . .
I got what I was not truly expecting, dragons. Fire breathing. Huge bodies. Fierce tempered dragons. I love dragons. Okay maybe not these dragons because they want the Earth for their own and are not shy about burning everything in their path to have it for themselves. Cara and John are right in the middle of it all. Now taking about hot. This was steamy all the way around in more ways than smoke and fire steam. The supernatural aspect of the series is back now. With one of the more larger supernatural creatures, dragons.
Cara and John had so much on their plates they did not need to add dragons to the mix. Cara does much under pressure to work to get her group to safety. The struggle beginning to take its toll on her and her group. Other aspects of the adventure take shape. John was more than he appeared to be and that was a good thing.
Again the read was filled with vivid description and a rich background for both our hero and heroine. John and Cara spend much time together. The took this journey together in more ways than one.
Cara, a mountain guide with a hard luck past and John, a doctor running as hard as he can from his own demons, become unlikely allies. Fire raging through the Sierras forces them away from their planned route and makes escape a dicey proposition.
Cara struggles to outwit the inferno before it’s too late. John’s long-denied psychic side escapes its bonds, refusing to be ignored any longer. He recognizes the fire for what it is: magical creatures bearing the worst news of all. Fire dragons want Earth for themselves, and they’ll stop at nothing to make it theirs. Protecting Cara from the destiny that’s finally hunted him down turns into John’s top priority, but spirit guides shanghai him, forcing his hand.
He never wanted a woman in his life. Too many complications—but something about Cara touches his heart.
She was burned out on men and vowed she’d spend the rest of her life in the mountains, guiding clients—but something about John sings to her soul.
If they can survive the dragons that set the earth ablaze, a different kind of heat just might bind them to each other.
Excerpt from Hello Darkness:
Hello darkness my old friend. I’ve come to talk with you again.
Paul Simon, Sounds of Silence
Moira Shaughnessy’s booted feet hit the ground in front of the Family Medicine Clinic. Slamming the door of the dusty white Park Service pickup, she considered ignoring her boss’s orders, peeling out of the parking lot, and heading for the Baxter Pass trailhead. She had a crew to oversee, goddammit. A work project to complete. But her boss, John, had been painstakingly clear, both yesterday at Park Headquarters in Three Rivers, and a mere ten minutes ago on the sat phone. Granted, he’d been far more pointed on the phone.
“It’s not a suggestion, Moira,” he’d growled. “This is a directive—from me. I want to hear from someone with MD after his name before I authorize you to head up that work detail. Do not set one foot on the trail before you receive my orders, e-sign them, and e-mail them back to me.”
“But that’s usually a formality—”
“Not this time. No buts. I made you an appointment at the clinic in Bishop that clears some of our crews. They’re open until six. I already lost two rangers this summer in the Pinecrest fire. That was two too many in my book, so get your butt into that clinic.”
Moira gritted her teeth. She’d thought she could avoid dealing with the whole mess by leaving the office early yesterday and taking one of the northern passes over the Sierra Nevada Mountains, but John tracked her down.
Phooey. I ran, but guess I couldn’t hide…
It was downright annoying that her boss needed a doctor to reassure him she wouldn’t collapse—or something—in the backcountry. For the briefest of moments, she felt like pounding her fist into the nearest tree, but then she pulled herself together. Nothing was wrong with her, except her slimy, cheating husband. Sure, she’d lost a few pounds since she left him, but she hadn’t been all that hungry.
Problem was, John remembered similar struggles from years ago when she first started working as a park ranger. She hadn’t eaten enough then, either, and grew far too thin. Just her luck, he’d been overseeing a backcountry work detail when she got woozy and fell off one of the mules.
Understanding surfaced; embarrassment followed. Her boss cared about her. That wasn’t a bad thing. Anger bled out of her with a whoosh.
“May as well get this over with,” she muttered.
Moira walked briskly to the clinic, pushed the door open, and headed for the counter. The antiseptic smell common to all medical offices hit her like a wall as she strode across the scrubbed linoleum floor.
“Yes?” A young woman with dyed red hair looked up from her computer screen with eyes so green she had to be wearing colored contact lenses.
“Moira Shaughnessy. I think you’re expecting me. My boss called from Kings Canyon-Sequoia Park Headquarters.”
The receptionist clicked a few keys. “Your insurance card, please.”
Moira blew out a frazzled breath and dug through her fanny pack for her wallet. Once she found it, she extracted the plasticized Blue Cross card, handing it over. “I’m really in a bit of a hurry—”
“Here’s your card back.” The clerk gestured at the nearly full waiting room. “The doctor will be with you as soon as he can. He had a full schedule before he agreed to work you in.”
“Is it okay if I go outside for a few minutes? I need to lock my truck. I, uh, didn’t think I’d be in here for very long.”
“Sure. So long as we know where to find you.” The phone trilled, and the receptionist picked it up, Moira obviously forgotten. “Family Medicine, how may I help you?”
Moira let herself back outside. Too restless to return to the overcrowded waiting room, she paced up and down the parking lot. Fall had turned the aspen trees lining Bishop’s streets to shades of red and gold that were quite striking, but all she could think about were the minutes ticking by. It was twelve miles from the trailhead to the top of the pass, and a couple more to where her trail crew was. Leaving today would be foolhardy at this point. She’d never even make the pass before night fell.
“Damn it!” She glanced at her watch. How long was this going to take anyway?
“Ms. Shaughnessy?” A man’s voice sounded from behind her.
She spun, surprised out of her funk.
And stopped dead.
EXTENDED EXCERPT. . .
Ann Gimpel is a national bestselling author. A lifelong aficionado of the unusual, she began writing speculative fiction a few years ago. Since then her short fiction has appeared in a number of webzines and anthologies. Her longer books run the gamut from urban fantasy to paranormal romance. Once upon a time, she nurtured clients, now she nurtures dark, gritty fantasy stories that push hard against reality. When she’s not writing, she’s in the backcountry getting down and dirty with her camera. She’s published over 30 books to date, with several more planned for 2016 and beyond. A husband, grown children, grandchildren and wolf hybrids round out her family.