Triple Star Ranch Book 1
by Brynna Curry
Genre: Paranormal Romance
In the bible belt of the Deep South, small-town veterinarian Anastasia Brannon hides her magic from all but those closest to her for fear of ridicule. After a red-hot encounter with the new PI in town, it is impossible to deny their attraction. Throwing caution to the wind, she indulges her desires but keeps her secrets close.
A man with secrets of his own, Howl Raven uses his feral talents and tracking skills to make a living, doing his best to lay low and hide the curse that haunts him every month. So far, so good…until an uncontrollable shift outside the full moon leaves him the victim of a werewolf hunter.
When Ana finds him wounded in the woods near her cabin during a storm, she has no choice but to rely on her magic and out her secret to Howl. Racing against time, a werewolf hunter, and nature itself, Ana may be the only one who can banish the wolf from Howl’s blood, but at what cost?
Author's Note: This book is a previously released prequel which has been extensively revised to include bonus content and a preview of Tempting Taylor. While it does have a fast HEA for Howl and Ana, the arcing storyline of Sam Murphy’s murder is left unresolved to be continued in the remaining books.
Ana parked her Jeep at the pump outside of Cooper’s gas station and shut off the engine. She reached across the seat for her purse and dug out her wallet. Taking a deep breath before abandoning the heat of her car, she stepped into the chilly dawn air. Severe storms were expected to roll in later in the evening, making the air thick, heavy and damp, like breathing through a wet blanket. By noon the temps would be in the sixties but after the front moved through they would plummet back to the forties. Gotta love fall in Alabama. She twisted off the gas cap, flipped the pump lever, and began filling the tank. Glancing around the parking lot, she noted two old Chevy trucks. The blue one belonged to Jace Murphy. He’d had it since high school. Ana sighed. She knew Jace, and the truck, well. The Murphy brothers were pretty to look at, with a knight’s code of honor, but they were hell on a woman’s heart. At least Jace was. A part of her would always love him and his ‘devil may care’ attitude just a little. The chief’s Charger was parked near the diesel pumps. No doubt having another cup of coffee before turning on the 25 MPH school zone signs. Perfect. Just the man I needed to see. She twisted the gas cap closed and went in to pay. “Morning, Ana.” Cooper’s wife, Ruby, greeted her as she manned the counter. “Morning.” Ana handed her a credit card, which Ruby slid through the machine before giving her a receipt to sign and closing the drawer. Ana quickly signed the slip of paper and pocketed the duplicate receipt. “Where’s the breakfast crowd?” Smiling she leaned in to chat for a minute. No matter what the owner of Cooper’s had to say, it was bound to be entertaining. “They’re about a half-hour gone. Severe storms are predicted for tonight. Some are closing up early. Everybody’s trying to get their errands done before the rain comes in. What about you? Opening the clinic today?” “Afraid so. I’ve got a full day of appointments scheduled, but I won’t be taking in boarders over the weekend. Just in case.” “Well. Don’t get so busy you forget to bring in your hanging flowers. It’d be a shame to lose them to the wind.” “I won’t.” “Town council meeting is tonight, weather permitting, and if we’re still around to have one.” Ana nodded and turned toward the dining area and what she liked to call the round table. Usually occupied by the morning regulars who came in to gossip before starting their day. Cade Murphy, Shady Creek’s Chief of Police, gave her a little wave as he sipped his coffee and listened to his brother Jace complain about coming weather. Cade’s semi-formal uniform only added to his already disarming good looks. Along with their brother Drew, the triplets shared the same jet-black hair, olive skin and deep green eyes. Since he had retired from the CIA, Jace preferred a farmer’s outfit of work boots, denim shirt with rolled up sleeves and jeans. Ana knew he was just as comfortable on the dance floor as he was on a tractor or slinking around foreign nations doing God-knew-what. He looked up and winked at her as she walked over to the table. “Morning, gorgeous. Ready to walk down the aisle with me?” Jace teased. She laughed when he wiggled his eyebrows, kissed her cheek and pulled out an empty chair. “I’d never survive the trip, Jace.” “Maybe, but the ride would be worth it.” “Oh, of that I have no doubt. Tempting, but no.” She couldn’t be entirely sure he wasn’t serious. Ja-na had been a heat-filled year. Easy to recall the memories. It had been a hell of a ride and worth every minute. She sat in the chair next to Cade. “Down boy, before I have to arrest you.” Cade smiled and finished off his coffee. “Morning, Ana. How’s my Sunshine?” “Doing just fine. She foaled about two hours ago. A colt. Both are healthy. I figured you’d like to call Taylor yourself.” Cade beamed. Sunshine, a beautiful paint mare, belonged to his best friend, actress Taylor Ross. She loved the horse fiercely, only trusting Cade to care for her while she was filming. Since Taylor was shooting pretty much all the time now, Sunshine had taken up permanent residence at the Triple Star. Taylor flew in as often as possible to visit with family and see her horse, but not often enough in her opinion. The visits were always short and because of both of their schedules there was never time to truly catch up. Ana missed the long talks they had had as teenagers. “Thanks. I’ll check in with Tay in a couple of hours. It’s still early yet.” Something about the way Cade said Tay made her heart ache. Only he called her friend by the pet name. Longing and banked heat coated the word. She was pretty sure there wasn’t anything between Cade and Taylor, romantically speaking, but she suspected he might carry a torch for her. What would it be like to hear her name spoken like that, full of wicked promises and forever? Ana glanced toward Jace. He had come close once, delivered on the promises in spades. Forever? Not so much. “Right. Time difference. I always forget.” The tinkling of a bell announced the arrival of another customer. Ana looked toward the door. The newcomer was tall, with black hair. His leather jacket and jeans accentuated a muscled but lean form. Sunglasses hid his eyes from view. He didn’t stop at the counter, instead making his way over to their table. “Sorry to interrupt, chief. Got a minute?” “Sure. Have a seat.” The stranger shook Cade’s hand before moving on to Jace. The scent of pine and crisp soap tempted her curiosity. Slipping off his glasses, he hooked them in the V of his jacket. He turned, his golden eyes meeting hers. A wave of pure heat swept over her. That’s unusual. “Howl, this is Anastasia Brannon, our local vet and a close friend. Ana, this is Howl Raven. He’s the PI I’ve hired to look into, well you know.” Ana smiled and held out her hand to shake his. “Nice to meet you, Mr. Raven.” “It’s Howl and the pleasure is all mine, Anastasia.” God, his voice was like the finest whiskey. Rich, dark and damning as it rolled over her name. The air changed at his touch. He didn’t shake her hand, instead held it warm in his just a second longer than was polite. She didn’t miss the frown on Jace’s face. “Ah, yes. Likewise.” Flustered, she tugged her hand out of Howl’s grip. “Well, I hate to run, but I have to get going. Got a full day of appointments scheduled. Cade, tell Taylor to call me when she gets in. We need to catch up. Have a girls night.” “Will do. Thanks.” “Any time.” She retreated to the safety of her Jeep, but couldn’t resist a second look toward the door before driving away. He was watching her through the glass. She still felt his touch and ached for more. Howl Raven was a flash fire, instant and all consuming. And she was a moth to that flame.
Brynna Curry was born south of the Mason-Dixon Line in a small Alabama town. Growing up, books fueled her dreams and imagination, ultimately became her sanctuary during the hardest times in her life. After living all over the southern states, she finally landed back in north Alabama where she met her husband, Jackie. She spent a wonderful twenty-two years with her hero, raising their three children.
Now widowed, she spends her free time writing and tending her ‘army’ of feral cats and rescued strays. Her furry minions, Jace, Styxx, Beerus, and Asheron, are always willing to keep her company while she works. She insists love is the truest magic and with it, every day is an adventure.
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