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Happy New Year

It's already 2020 in New Zealand as this newsletter goes out, so Happy New Year! I hope the year to come is a joyful one for all of us.


I've had a busy second half of 2019, with Wolf Rain, Archangel's War, and A Madness of Sunshine all coming out in quick succession. I loved working on all these projects, and can't wait to share more with you in 2020.

2019 was also the year I published my debut thriller. It's been interesting writing in another genre - a different kind of exercise for my mental muscles. I'm happy to share that I'll be writing another thriller over the following year.

If you'd like to read more about my foray into thrillers, I recently did an interview with Bookbub about Madness.


My next new release will be in March - that'll be the next Hard Play book (featuring single dad and champion rugby player, Jake). It's a funny, sexy book full of family and love, and the cover is phenomenal! More info coming very soon.

The Wolf Rain paperback is coming out in late February, and the next Psy-Changeling book, Alpha Night, will release in June. You can find the blurb for Alpha Night below.

And I'll have another Guild Hunter book for you later in the year.

But right now, I have three free short stories for you. All of these stories stand alone, so feel free to dive in even if you've never read any of that particular series.

Happy reading!

p.s. if you'd like to read the previous newsletter, here's the link

A Madness of Sunshine

Ebook: Apple Books, Kindle, KindlaCa, Kobo, NOOK
Hardcover: Amazon,, B&N, BookDepo, BAM, Chapters, IndBnd, Penguin, Powells
Audiobook: Amazon, Audible, iTunes

Ebook: Apple Books, GooglePlay, KindleAu, KindleNZ, KindleUK, Kobo
Print:, A&R, BookDepo, BkTpa, FshPnd, MtyApe, Waterstones
Audio:,, iTunes

Alpha Night US placeholder cover - Copy

June 2020

Alpha Night: Psy-Changeling Trinity Book 4

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh returns to her breathtaking Psy-Changeling Trinity series with a mating that shouldn’t exist…

Alpha wolf Selenka Durev’s devotion to her pack is equaled only by her anger at anyone who would harm those under her care. That currently includes the empaths who’ve flowed into her city for a symposium that is a security nightmare, a powder keg just waiting for a match.

Ethan Night is an Arrow who isn’t an Arrow. Numb and disengaged from the world, he’s loyal only to himself. Assigned as part of the security force at a world-first symposium, he carries a dark agenda tied to the power-hungry and murderous Consortium. Then violence erupts and Ethan finds himself crashing into the heart and soul of an alpha wolf.

Mating at first sight is a myth, a fairytale. Yet Selenka’s wolf is resolute: Ethan Night, broken Arrow and a man capable of obsessive devotion, is the mate it has chosen. Even if the mating bond is full of static and not quite as it should be. Because Selenka’s new mate has a terrible secret, his mind surging with a power that is a creature of madness and death…

Pre-order Links
USA/Canada (June 9th, 2020)
Ebook: Apple Books, Kindle, KindleCa, Kobo, NOOK
Hardcover: Amazon,, B&N, BookDepo, Chapters, IndBnd
Audio: to follow

International (June 11th, 2020)
Ebook: Apple Books, GooglePlay, KindleAu, KindleNZ, KindleUK, Kobo
Print:, BookDepo, FshPnd, MtyApe, Waterstones
Audio: to follow


Exclusive Extras: Guild Hunter, Rock Kiss, and Psy-Changeling Short Stories

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A Little Bakery

A Guild Hunter Short Story

By Nalini Singh

Tía Catalina pressed a hand to the small of her back and rubbed. Her old bones were aching with how she’d been bent over icing the angel-wing alfajores that were the bakery’s holiday specialty.

Such painstaking work it was to ensure the delicately-shaped cookies didn’t break, especially when it came time to sandwich them together with her special coconut-infused dulce de leche. It was her Lorenzo who’d come up with the idea all those years ago when they’d opened their little shop.

Her eyes went to the framed photo of him that she kept at one end of her workbench at the back of the bakery. Oh, her Lorenzo had been a beautiful man. Dark eyes that laughed so easily, that thick black hair that had turned silver as he loved her through the decades, that skin bronzed by the sun. Was it any wonder she’d taken one look at him and decided that he wasn’t for her—no good would come of loving a man that pretty, she’d thought.

She hadn’t been everyone’s tía or abuela then; she’d just been plain old Catalina with the wide hips and the curves that caught men’s eyes, her own eyes dark and her hair long enough to brush her behind. And hadn’t Lorenzo looked at her with such hunger that she’d felt justified in her dismissal of him as a serious prospect.

But oh, how the man had courted her. With cakes made from scratch, and cookies of her favorite flowers, and a proposal when they were all alone so that she knew it was for her, not to show off. Her husband had been a show off and an outrageous flirt, it was true, but when it mattered, he’d been hers. Never had he strayed, her beautiful man. And to the end, he’d called her mi corazón. As if they were still young sweethearts and not silver-haired grandparents.

Te amo, mi corazón.

“Te amo, mi vida,” she said to the strong, loyal man who had gone before her to what awaited in the next life. Two years now, and she missed him each and every day.

The only thing that made it bearable were her children and grandchildren, all with Lorenzo’s laughing eyes—except for Adriana, who had been contrary from the first and had been born with eyes of an even deeper brown that came from her mother’s side of the family. Not content with that, her grandchild had gone and been born with a tiny brown freckle in the white of her left eye that’d had them all worried, but the doctors said it was benign.

Well, and didn’t those freckled eyes hold a wicked spark? And didn’t she hug her “tita” Catalina with such fierce affection? She might’ve been born with contrary eyes, but Lorenzo’s wild heart beat strongest in fourteen-year-old Adriana.

“Tita!” Skinny brown arms wrapping around her from behind, squeezing tight. “Shall I open the doors?”

Catalina smiled and patted the hand of her favorite grandchild. She shouldn’t have favorites, but how could she resist Lorenzo’s heart beating in this little one who had been birthed into her grandfather’s arms?

Lorenzo had been alone with their María when she went into labor so suddenly, but though he was an old-fashioned man who didn’t much like it when his daughters began to show their legs in the pretty dresses that were the rage in their youth, he had been calm and patient and he had caught Adriana when she came out squalling and angry and impatient.

María had told Catalina the whole story afterward, her eyes wet. “Papá was wonderful,” she’d said. “He kissed me on the forehead when I panicked, and he told me I was his strong girl who could do it. And he put Adriana on my chest with the biggest smile.”

That was her Lorenzo. Such a heart he’d had, so much love inside it.

“Sí,” she said to this grandchild of hers who missed Lorenzo as much as Catalina, and who was always in the bakery after school or in the weekends.

“We’ll have a big line!” Adriana called back as she danced out of the room. “Everyone knows you make these cookies only once a year!”

Catalina smiled and stretched out her back again. But when she went to pick up the tray of cookies, two big male hands replaced hers, the brush across her back familiar. But it still made her gasp, to look up into eyes of ancient gold and know that she stood next to an angel, his wings a piercing blue and his black hair dipped in blue.

Then he smiled, his eyes dancing against skin kissed by the sun until it was gold of a paler shade than his eyes. “I’ve come to steal cookies,” said this angel who had lived hundreds of years, and would live hundreds more. Yet, when with him, she felt the elder, he had such a young soul.

She patted his arm. “You know I always save you an entire tray.” This beautiful blue-winged angel had walked into their bakery for the first time two days after they opened, drawn by “the smell of deliciousness”.

Well, Catalina’s heart had skipped a beat to be sure. Angels didn’t simply walk into little bakeries in Harlem. Especially angels who were seen often with the archangel himself, power rippling off their frame. Illium his name was, and he’d been hungry. And she’d fed him, hadn’t she? No one who came to Catalina’s house or her bakery left hungry.

Lorenzo used to shake his head and say she’d give away all their profits, but he’d be right there with her, giving out food. But this angel, this Illium, he’d always paid—and he’d brought his friends. So that their little bakery became known for attracting New York’s angels, and they’d even done an article about the bakery in the paper!

So many customers had found them after that. Big bakeries had offered her and Lorenzo unimaginable amounts of money to sell up, but it’d have been like selling their heart. What use would money be without it? It wasn’t as if they didn’t make more than enough to raise their brood.

Their little bakery remained a little bakery, with a loyal clientele.

“I just want to be sure,” Illium said solemnly, but his eyes continued to dance.

She hit him lightly on a hard muscled forearm. “Shoo with you,” she said, her mind full of memories. Lorenzo and Illium, they’d been birds of a feather. Playful, beautiful men who had laughed together and even sat down and had a drink or shared a pie many times over the years.

Leaning down, Illium kissed her on the cheek. “I’ll carry this out. It’s too heavy for you.”

Catalina watched him walk out to the front, heard Adriana’s chatter, and wondered if her granddaughter understood that she stood in the presence of one of the most powerful beings in the city. Adriana had grown up talking to angels. Sometimes, she even haggled with them when they jokingly tried to get a better price on a piece of baking.

“I’m going to be the Tower baker, Tita,” she’d said a year ago, face set mulishly. “Just watch me.”

Well, Catalina would, but she had no doubts Adriana would make it to those hallowed halls. Her grandchild was a clever one and she was scared of no one. No vampire or angel would make her flinch.

Returning to the kitchen, Illium carried out two more trays while Catalina tidied up. When he came inside the last time, he wrapped her up in the warmth of his arms and his wings. “What will I do when you are gone?” A hitch in his voice.

She hugged him back, this angel who had seen her go from a lithe young woman to grandmother of a sprawling clan. “You’ll watch over my children and grandchildren, and you’ll make sure my wild Adriana doesn’t get into too much trouble.”

Others might envy angels for their immortal lifetimes, but she’d seen such sorrow in Illium’s eyes when he came to Lorenzo’s funeral. He’d done her beloved Lorenzo the great honor of being a pallbearer. Catalina wouldn’t have asked—not of an angel, even when that angel was one who called her friend—but he’d asked her himself. And so he’d walked with their sons and daughters to lay her Lorenzo to rest.

So sad he’d been, until she’d hugged him as she had her children and grandchildren. And she’d thought—ah, the price of immortality is to watch others go long before you into heaven’s arms. “One day, you’ll see Lorenzo again, and after it’s my time, I’ll be there too.” She didn’t know if angels believed in such things, but she believed it for Illium. “Perhaps after an eternity or two, but time doesn’t matter in the world beyond this one.”

Releasing her from his embrace, his astonishing wings folding back with care so as not to break things in her small kitchen, Illium said, “I will hold you to that promise, Catalina.” He was the only one who still called her Catalina. Just Catalina. All her contemporaries were gone now, Illium alone the one who remembered the young woman she’d once been.

Then he bent slightly and held out a hand. “Dance with me, mi amor. Let us make Lorenzo jealous one more time.”

Laughing because oh, he was as wicked and wild as her Lorenzo had been, she put her hand in his and they danced, in this small bakery in Harlem filled with the scents of sugar and spice and colored by love.

Copyright © 2020 by Nalini Singh

Author’s Note: A special thank you to everyone on Twitter who helped me with my Spanish language questions. If I messed something up despite your help, my apologies!

Timeline This story slots in before Angels’ Blood, the first book in the Guild Hunter series.


That Lip Ring…

A Rock Kiss Short Story

By Nalini Singh

Molly looked around and shook her head.

The rock star who lounged in the soft leather of the seat across from her, his lip ring catching the light coming in the plane’s windows, pushed up his ball cap to drawl. “What’s got you scowling, Miss Molly?”

That gritty voice rasped over her in an intimate wave. Her breasts tightened, her thighs clenched, and she had to fight off a heat wave that'd stain her pale skin a betraying pink. Fox knew it, too, because his lips curved in a slow smile that just intensified the hot flush.

But since she was now married to the man and had developed some self-defense skills, she leaned back in her own seat of soft cream-colored leather and crossed her legs. Her fifties-inspired dress was very respectable…until she hitched up the skirt to reveal a hint of thigh.

Groaning, Fox put down the sheet music on which he’d been making notes. “Come here.”

Molly blew him a kiss before saying, “Nope. I just changed and did my makeup. You’re not mussing me up.” She’d kept things light, but she couldn’t walk out in her slouchy travel clothes and makeup-free face when she might end up being snapped by the paparazzi. “I was just thinking that how is this my life?”

She waved around them to indicate the plush confines of the private jet. “I was a librarian. I filed books about private jets. Now I’m riding around in one like it’s normal.” Molly wasn’t sure if would ever become actually normal for her—it was all too surreal.

Fox’s muscles flexed under the vivid colors of his sleeve tattoo as he put the sheet music aside, then took off his ball cap. That was his token effort at a disguise, though he’d also throw on a jacket after they landed. “We should be fine,” he said. “No one expects us.”

That was because Molly’s best friend, Charlotte, wasn’t getting married for a while yet. Aware Molly would definitely be attending, the media would be on alert in the weeks directly before that—because they knew it was highly unlikely she’d do so without Fox by her side.

In the time since the first conflagration of their love, Molly and Fox’s relationship had matured and deepened. They each had their friendships and hobbies, some shared, others not, and were used to doing things independently. But it was rare for them to spend a night apart.

The sexual fire between them flamed hotter than ever, but they were best friends beyond that. She loved just hanging out with her rock star husband—and he felt the same about his editor/researcher wife.

That she was always with Fox when the band went on tour, and that they holidayed together more often than not hadn’t escaped the media. This time, however, her husband might just be right about the two of them slipping unnoticed into New Zealand. “I can’t wait to help her look for her wedding dress.”

She all but danced in her seat. “I’m so glad we could come.” Molly and Charlotte had ruthlessly compared schedules and changed commitments to carve out this week between Fox’s concert performances and Charlotte and Gabriel’s business travel commitments. “It’s going to be so much fun going dress hunting.”

A grin from Fox. “Good luck. I’m so sorry to miss it.”

“At least try to be a sincere liar,” she said with a laugh. “Are you looking forward to the camping trip?” Charlotte’s future husband was taking Fox up north, with kayaking and off-road driving on the menu along with the camping.

“Yeah.” Fox grinned. “Gabe’s also promised to teach me more rugby moves so I can kick his little brothers’ asses now and then.”

Since Gabe’s “little” brothers included two champion rugby players and one who was no slouch though he played just for fun, her lover was setting himself a challenge. But Molly would put her money on him. Always. Because he was hers and she was his. “Make sure you teach me too.” Gabe’s family was seriously into rugby and they always ended up playing a friendly game when together.

“You know it, Miss Molly.” Fox threw that slow smile at her again, and this time, she groaned and gave in. A woman had only so much self-control.

Moving over to his lap, she sat primly sideways with one arm around his neck and the fingers of her other hand brushing his bristly jaw. Smoky green eyes looked into hers as he wrapped his tattooed arm around her waist, while using his free hand to push up the skirt of her dress so he could close his fingers over one curvy thigh. “There you are,” he said in that voice that had made millions of women fall in love with him.

But Fox loved only one: Molly.

Leaning in, she kissed him slow and deep and wet. He groaned and leaned back in his seat, his hand massaging her thigh. When she tugged gently on his lip ring, it was to another deeper groan, his body hardening under her. “This ring,” she murmured, her blood honey. “My downfall.” It had caught her eye from the first, and she couldn’t imagine a time when she didn’t utterly adore it.

His lips curved. “Did I tell you about the new tattoo I’m getting in New Zealand?”

Hand spreading over his chest, where he’d gotten a tattoo that shouted his love to her, Molly tilted her head to the side. “You know you didn’t, foxy man.”

After pretending to spank her for that teasing comment, he said, “Grab my phone. It’s the last photo in my camera roll.”

Opening his photos app, Molly laughed. “Books!” Specifically, a pile of them with a small female form drawn leaning up against the pile—as if the pile was so big the woman couldn’t ever finish reading them. But she was absorbed, her head bent over the one open on her bent knees. And her hair, it was like Molly’s untamed black waves, her body all curves.

Delighted with her grinning lover, she kissed him until his hands clenched on her hips, his breath short and sharp, and his heart thunder. Pulling back only when the pilot announced they were coming in to land, she dropped one final kiss on those gorgeous, sinful lips. “We’ll finish this later.” Her own breathing wasn’t exactly steady.

“Count on it,” Fox murmured, but let her go back to her seat—with one final squeeze of her hips. “Think I can talk Gabe into another tattoo?”

Since Charlotte’s fiancé was already inked, Molly took a moment to think about it. “I think it’ll depend on the design, but…yes.” Suddenly remembering what had happened with Fox’s bandmate and a drunken bachelor party, she scowled at her husband. “Don’t get me in trouble with my best friend.”

Smile wicked, Fox sprawled back in his seat. “You’re leaving us menfolk alone for five days. Who knows what will happen?”

Lips twitching, Molly crossed her legs again. “Careful, you’re giving me ideas about getting up to mischief with Charlotte.”

Fox’s grin intensified. “I’ll come bail you out if you’re arrested.”

Molly burst into laughter, happy to be here, in this moment, with a rock star who would be there for her no matter what. Jail included.

Postscript: Dear Reader, Molly and Charlie were not arrested. They did however, crash a Mercedes, talk with ghosts, have tea with a stranger, and find the perfect wedding dress. But that’s a story for another time…

Copyright © 2020 by Nalini Singh

Timeline: All of my contemporary stories can be read in any order, but if you'd like to read Molly and Fox's story, you can find it in Rock Addiction. Charlotte and Gabriel's book is Rock Hard.


Wolf Heart

A Psy-Changeling Short Story

By Nalini Singh

Toby stole his new cousin from his crib, cuddling his small and sleepy form to his body. Heath Knight Lauren yawned and lifted fisted hands as if readying himself for a fight, before a baby smile curved his lips and he fell asleep again.

Toby felt his own lips tug upward. He’d never been so close to a newborn. At only two weeks old, Heath registered uniquely against Toby’s empathic senses. The baby was very much a person, but he was…soft. Most of his emotions were basic. Hunger, discomfort if he was too cold or too warm, happiness. But below it all was need. The need for touch, for family, for pack.

Toby didn’t know if a baby who wasn’t half wolf would be the same, but right now, Heath was happy. He knew Toby already, though Toby couldn’t explain the whys or hows of it—the baby’s emotions were too undefined for that. What he knew was that he felt a deep sense of contentment from Heath, a sense that only magnified after he opened his shirt so he could hold Heath directly against his skin.

The baby was very wolf in that, in liking skin privileges.

Arranging the blanket over Heath’s back, Toby turned to the woman who’d come to the door of the nursery. Corkscrew curls of black with reddish highlights dancing around her face, Lara smiled at him, before walking over to muss his hair and kiss him on the cheek. “Stealing Heath again?”

“He wants to go for a walk,” Toby said with a straight face.

Tawny eyes bright with humor, Lara kissed him again. “Bring him back when he starts to get hungry.” Love emanated from her, until it wrapped Toby in maternal warmth. He knew it wasn’t only because he held Heath—Lara had been the same before the baby was even a possibility. She loved him and Marlee even though she hadn’t given birth to them.

Toby had reassured Marlee of that when he’d found his younger cousin sitting alone in her room, worrying that Lara wouldn’t love them anymore now that she had Heath. “Lara thinks of us as her kids,” he’d said. “You know I have empathic abilities—her love toward us is as potent as what she feels for Heath.” It was, however, different from what she felt for Toby’s uncle, Walker—but that was normal.

How grownups loved each other wasn’t the same as how they loved children. He’d asked Sascha about that when they had one of their sessions where she taught him more about the empathic side of his abilities, and she’d thought for a moment before saying, “Love has many hues and variations.

“With a child, in involves a strong thread of protectiveness and care, while with adults who choose each other as Lara and Walker have, it’s a meeting of equals.” Then she’d smiled. “You’ll always be a child to Lara and Walker, no matter how big you get. Their love will always have a parental flavor.”

Toby was more than okay with that. Especially after sensing the same kind of protective love from Lara’s mother toward Lara. “Call me Grammy,” Aisha had ordered him after his uncle and Lara mated, her love for Toby and Marlee different again—it held deeper tones of indulgence, less of discipline.

“I’m going to take Heath to see the pupcubs,” Toby told Lara. “Riley brought them with him today.” The triplets were older than Heath, but he thought his new cousin would like to be around other babies.

“I can already see the formation of a new gang,” Lara said as she walked him to the door. “I’ll be in the infirmary, checking in on some of my patients.”

Toby nodded; Lara couldn’t stop being a healer as he couldn’t stop being a telepath. “Don’t work too hard,” he said with a frown. “You know you’re supposed to take it easy for a couple more weeks at least.”

Lara looked at him with infinite tenderness. “Just like Walker.”

Chest swelling because he’d like nothing better than to grow up to be like Uncle Walker, Toby walked out, Heath cuddled up against his chest. Packmates who saw them inevitably stopped to look at the baby, or to whisper hello, or to touch a finger to his cheek. Changeling in his ways, the baby slept through it all, content in the embrace of pack.

But he wasn’t all changeling—and the featherlight touches Toby felt now and then against his mind were like those tiny fists that opened and closed against his chest. Instinctive, without intent. He’d asked his uncle if he felt them too, and Walker had nodded. “He’s got some telepathy.” Quiet words. “We’ll all watch over him to make sure he gets the training he needs—but right now, you just get to be his big cousin.”

So Toby allowed the featherlight touches to continue, allowed the baby to explore. He didn’t have to be a grownup with Heath, not yet. When a very small wolf padded up to him, he smiled. “Hi Elodie.” He bent down to pet the wolf pup with one hand, the baby held in his other arm.

“We’re going to see Riley and the pupcubs,” he said after Elodie greeted Heath with a gentle nuzzle. “Want to come?”

Yipping excitedly, Elodie ran off ahead—stopping every few steps to make sure he was coming. Toby laughed and followed his small guide. When his yearmate Miyoko stopped to pet first Elodie, and then Heath, he wished Elodie would yip again in impatience, giving him an excuse to get going. It wasn’t that he didn’t like his fellow juvenile…but that he liked her too much.

Tall, black haired, with skin of darkest brown, and a brain that didn’t stop, Miyoko was going to be a soldier, everyone knew it. She was tough and dominant and scared of nothing. She also had zero interest in Toby beyond friendship.

He didn’t read emotions on purpose anymore without permission, but stuff leaked in now and then. He couldn’t exactly turn off his empathy. Most of the time, it was fine, and he supposed at least he wouldn’t humiliate himself by asking her out when she would only say no, but he wished he didn’t know.

Then, he could pretend in his daydreams.

As it was, he felt his cheeks begin to color as his body reacted to the closeness of hers. After telling Heath how adorable he was, Miyoko looked up with eyes gone wolf-amber. “I better go. I have a date.” She beamed, her smile effervescent. “My first proper one!”

“Um, congratulations?” Toby managed to get out past his choked throat.

Grinning, Miyoko leaned in to kiss him on the cheek. “Thanks, Toby. You’re such a good friend.” Then she was gone, and his cheek, it burned, his nostrils filled with her scent.

A playful bite at his ankle, Elodie’s small furry face looking up at his when he glanced down. “I’m coming,” he said, and carried on. “Girls,” he told Heath. “They have soft skin and they smell really good, and they make a guy crazy.”

The baby snored.

Toby scowled. “Some cousin.” He kissed Heath’s nose.

Elodie, glimpsing this, came running back for her own kiss. He was crouched on the floor grinning when a pair of booted feet came into his vision. His entire body tightened. If Miyoko made him feel hot and stupid and excited, Hawke’s presence made things get all tense.

The SnowDancer alpha had always been kind to Toby—even when he hadn’t been sure about the adult Laurens who’d defected to SnowDancer, he’d accepted the children. But everyone else in Toby’s year group knew their place in the hierarchy of the pack. Miyoko would be a soldier, and so would Toby’s friend Iain. Mara was heading into healing, and Angie was planning to be a tech specialist, but she was also at peace with her submissive nature.

Toby was the only one who didn’t fit. Where in a wolf pack did you put a shy redheaded telepath with low-level empathic abilities?

“Yes, I see you,” Hawke’s deep voice before he scooped Elodie up in one arm. Then he reached for Heath.

Who smiled in his sleep at his alpha’s touch.

Both pups were all but purring by the time Toby stood up. But Hawke’s strikingly pale blue eyes, eyes that didn’t change shade whether he was in human or wolf form, were focused on Toby. His breath caught in his chest, his pulse ratcheted up. Toby wasn’t a wolf, but it was impossible not to be affected by Hawke’s alpha dominance when you were the focus of his attention.

Hawke said, “We need to talk.” He bit lightly at Elodie’s snout before handing her over to Toby. She snuggled into him, already half asleep.

Throat dry and Elodie’s warm weight held with care, Toby fell into step beside his alpha—and brother-in-law. Sometimes, he didn’t know which side of Hawke he was speaking with, but today, he had zero doubts: he was with his alpha.

“Am I in trouble?” he asked, because he had joined in with a recent prank that involved wrapping every single thing in Hawke’s office with festive paper—down to the paperclip and pen.

“Why? What have you done?” Wolf eyes glinting in amusement because Hawke always knew exactly what the juveniles were up to.

Toby whistled.

Hawke’s laughter held the wolf’s growl. “You’re not in trouble. I just want to know why you haven’t signed on to the basic soldier module—the one that’ll give you a good idea of what a future as a pack soldier would entail.”

Toby blinked. “I didn’t think I’d fit.” He wasn’t like his uncle Judd, who was one of Hawke’s lieutenants. “I don’t have an offensive ability.” His telepathy was long range and crystalline in its clarity, and he supposed he could destroy minds with it, but not only would his empathy not allow him to do that, changelings didn’t fight that way.

Hawke was silent for several steps. “Do you understand what Riley does for the pack?” he said at last. “All the things he organizes and schedules and clears up so we work as a smooth machine?”

Toby chewed on that. “A little bit,” he said hesitantly. “He doesn’t teach classes at the juvenile level.”

“Maybe we need to change that,” Hawke murmured. “But for now, I’ve spoken to Riley, and he’s happy to have you shadow him for a while, see what he does.”

A pause, pale, pale eyes holding Toby’s. “Sometimes, Toby, communication and organization is all that stands between victory and defeat. Wolves are not simply brawn. Wolves are so powerful because we work as a unit, as a pack. And we utilize every skill and talent at our disposal.”

A sudden wave of emotions against his senses. Affection entwined with pride. From an alpha to a young packmate. From Hawke to Toby. And it wasn’t by accident. Hawke was mated to a cardinal Psy. He understood how Toby’s abilities worked. He wanted Toby to know.

“You have the heart of a wolf,” Hawke growled as he gripped the back of Toby’s neck with his free hand. “A heart built to protect, built for family, built for pack. You fit. Perfectly.”

Throat thick, Toby nodded. The tightness in his chest disappeared, his breath coming easier and his recent confusion erased by the truth he’d learned long ago and just forgotten in this age where everything was changing: he, Toby Lauren, wasn’t only Sienna’s brother and Hawke’s brother-in-law. He wasn’t only Heath’s and Marlee’s cousin. And he wasn’t only a Psy telepath with empathic abilities.

He, Toby Lauren, was also a SnowDancer. A boy with a wolf heart.

Copyright © 2020 by Nalini Singh

Timeline: This short story overlaps with events in Wolf Rain.

A Madness of Sunshine International m

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The next full newsletter will be hitting your inbox on February 11th - but I'll be sending out a special edition in January sometime with the cover and preorder details for Jake's book.

Take care and happy reading.

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