Blog Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway:
The Devoted Alpha
By Susi Hawke
West Coast Wolves, Book Three
An awkward, traumatized omega and a patient alpha determined to court him properly… fate has a way of righting old wrongs.
Stolen from his mother’s arms and reported stillborn at birth, Tom spent nearly twenty-one years in structured captivity with other stolen omegas. His brothers. A dozen omegas, each with a secret superpower, who now must learn a whole new skill—how to thrive in a modern world.
Not every brother emerged from their past unscathed, and Tom had the worst of it. His key to survival was a healthy respect for rules. Now that he’s free, he’s still a little bit obsessive and a whole lot compulsive. He’s got anxiety, fear of change… and a list of plans for his future.
None of which involved finding a fated mate.
But if they had? His plans definitely wouldn’t have been to meet his dream alpha while smelling of afterbirth and the blood of an enemy killed in defense of his pregnant brother—the same brother whose child he then had to deliver… post-shift and naked.
If he’d been planning, if he’d made a list and checked it twice, Tom never could’ve designed an alpha more perfectly devoted than the delicious one fate put in front of him during one of the craziest days of his life… an alpha so patient, he insists on courting the skittish omega.
The West Coast Wolves is an mpreg series about five alphas. A small pack of bikers who spent years riding the highways and helping those in need until fate gave them each a pack to lead. This 85k full-length novel is Nick’s story. Prepare yourself for a romantic courtship, a perfect first kiss, and more feels and giggles than you can handle. But then again, this is a Susi Hawke book so what else can you expect?
Possible triggers for child abduction, trafficking both past and present, and haunting memories of past abuse that included both humiliation and the non-penetrative molestation of a teenager by a person in authority.
Tom puffed his cheeks out, releasing his breath with a pop. “You say the nicest things. I think you should write some of them down and sell them to greeting card companies. Everyone bought cards for Charlie’s baby shower, and none of them were as sweet as the words coming out of your mouth.”
While I wasn’t sure if he was partially teasing me, it didn’t seem that way. He spoke so carefully. Clearly, I’d touched his heart. And didn’t I want to pound my chest like a proud ape? I wasn’t sure what to say, but a simple thank you didn’t seem like enough. I was about to start with one when Tom spoke again.
His cheeks flushed darker than I’d seen, and his eyes were firmly fixed on his lap. “If… I mean, when we mate, um, how soon would we have to do the sex thing where you bite me with your alpha teeth?”
Under any other circumstances, hearing someone refer to bonding as “the sex thing” would be funny. But Tom was being completely serious and was obviously worried, even if his wording was awkwardly cute. Despite his age and sharp intellect, he was so innocent.
I took a chance, reaching out to rest my hand on his arm. “Can you look at me, little one? I want you to hear me and know I mean every word.” His eyes, completely gray, met mine as Tom valiantly lifted his chin. “Thank you. I know you had a hard time asking. Nothing sexual will happen between us until you want it as much as I do. And I won’t bite you and link our life forces until I have a home to offer.”
Worried, he searched my eyes. “I know you mentioned the things going on and the problems with your pack, but what about you? Do you not have a home?”
Scrubbing a hand over my face, I fought the urge to laugh hysterically. Because wasn’t that the question of the day? If everything went the way I hoped, where was I going to live? Where would I work? Dropping my hand, I leaned forward, resting my forearms on my knees.
“Until everything is done, I don’t know what my next steps are. And with you to consider, I’ll want to plan where we go next together since it involves both of us. If the pack wants to stay intact and return to their old homes, I still want Ash to replace me. I did what I was meant to do there. Now it’s time for something else. Ash told me he could possibly find a pack whose Alpha doesn’t have an heir, but I don’t want to lead a pack. He also said he had something else he wanted to talk to me about, but I have no idea what.”
Tom dropped his legs, sitting forward to cautiously rest a comforting hand on my arm. “Thank you for saying you’ll include me, and especially for saying we can make plans for our shared future. So if…” His touch shaky, he paused, his eyes going wide as if whatever he was about to say scared him. A hint of blue broke through those gray eyes when he sat up straighter, lifting his chin before boldly finishing his thought. “If we need to live somewhere else, I’m willing to discuss it. And if you want to take me away tonight, I won’t stop you.”
Moving slowly, I carefully lifted my right hand to rest over the shaky one touching my arm. “You don’t have to thank me for treating you like an equal. It should be a given between mates. As for taking you away immediately? I wouldn’t dream of it. You clearly stated you need time to process. And please don’t be offended, but I don’t think you’re ready to be claimed.”
He pursed his lips, eyes narrowing as he considered my words, before finally nodding. “You’re right, on both counts. So what do we do? Won’t it be weird if we found each other but didn’t act on it immediately? Nobody will understand, and I don’t know about yours, but my brothers will definitely tease me about it. And push me into accepting your bite mark.”
“It’s not weird or anybody’s business but ours, and I think your brothers might surprise you. But as it happens, I have another idea. With your permission, I’d like to court you. Although our pheromones feel the pull to mate, I want to prove you have autonomy over your own body. You deserve romance, little one. You deserve to know you matter enough for me to work for your heart. You deserve to see how special you are. And I’m going to give you what you deserve, if you’ll let me.”
“I don’t get it. What do you even mean? I’ve seen old movies where boys and girls had a courtship. I thought that was just a human thing. And in a courtship, the boy gets permission from the girl’s father, and I don’t have one. Also, I’m not a girl.” He sputtered the last part indignantly, as if it needed clarity.
Stroking his arm with a light finger, I held his gaze. “Gender doesn’t matter when it comes to a proper courtship, and I’m not looking for anyone’s permission but yours. I wouldn’t even be talking about this if you weren’t an adult and only capable of deciding for yourself. As for it being a human thing, aren’t we as fully human as wolves?”
My question startled a laugh out of him and released the tension from his shoulders. Tom seemed more intrigued by my harebrained idea. “What would we even do? I have no idea what this whole courtship thing entails.” And yet, something told me he’d be googling it the first chance he got.
“I was thinking we could go on dates, spend time together here, talk on the phone or text when we’re apart—basically, build a relationship while we get to know each other properly. How does that sound?”
His bright smile warmed me all the way to my toes. “It sounds great. I like your idea. Are you sure it’s not weird I’m asking for time?”
“No, and I really wish you’d quit calling yourself weird. But you’re not asking for us to be delayed by a courtship. I’m offering.”
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